LSU Football Violations Alleged by NCAA, Including Cash Payments from Odell Beckham Jr.

March 15, 2022 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
The LSU athletics department has been under the spotlight of the NCAA in recent weeks.

Last week the Tigers men’s head basketball coach, Will Wade, was dismissed just before its March Madness tournament run following alleged violations of recruiting infractions.

lsuMore than just the men’s basketball program, however, LSU football also received a Notice of Allegations (NOA) that included a booster’s impermissible payments to the family of a player and Odell Beckham Jr.’s cash handouts to players on the field after LSU won the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship.

According to the NOA, obtained and shared by CBS Sports and others, Beckham Jr. is alleged to have handed out “approximately $2,000 in impermissible benefits to four student-athletes.” The university did take steps in the immediate aftermath to rectify the situation, self-report the violation, and self-imposing a sanction. The NCAA, according to the report, has indicated this to be a Level II violation — less serious in nature, but a part of the larger “lack of institutional control” allegations in the case.

Below is an excerpt from the CBS Sports report.

LSU took a similar approach in regards to the allegations regarding the more serious Level I violation in which approximately $180,000 in payments from a booster were made to the family of a player for “underperformed work.” This story came to light three years ago when John Paul Funes, the former president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake Foundation in Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud and money laundering charges. Federal prosecutors alleged that Funes embezzled more than $500,000 from the foundation, and the investigation found that the father of former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander was the recipient of some of those funds.

Finally, LSU football caught a Level III violation for impermissible contact on the recruiting trail between Ed Orgeron and a recruit in the office of a high school coach. The NCAA found this violation to be less serious as it was “isolated and limited” and “provided no more than a minimal recruiting advantage.”

To read the full report CBS Sports about the NOA sent to the LSU athletics department, click here