The LSU Tigers won the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. It was impressive. It was awesome. The season was literally everything any fan could have hoped for. There was no doubt a celebration was in order down in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The 42-25 final score over the Clemson Tigers is what will be printed on t-shirts and will be remembered for years to come. Maybe even for a lifetime. However, there was an interesting scene that took place on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome field that raised plenty of eyebrows in the aftermath.
It's no secret Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. loves his alma mater. Giving them Beats by Dre headphones and a special message before the title game only was part of it. But OBJ was also spotted giving wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Jontre Kirklin a nice wad of cash that Monday night.
It was all caught on social media, too.
OBJ Gives LSU Players Wads of Cash
Justin Jefferson, a junior, caught nine balls for 106 yards from Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow in the CFP national title game on ESPN. He was so good during the postseason that he entered the 2020 NFL Draft because of it. But to be seen accepting cash from OBJ is something the NCAA will likely want to look at.
Is it an NCAA violation for this to happen? That's the question that needs to be answered. Odell Beckham Jr. definitely has the the money to do what he wants, but handing out cash to players on his college football team is pretty crazy to see.
It's one thing for the former LSU star to hand out the money privately in the locker room, but on the field? That's definitely a bold and daring move, especially considering current NCAA rules.
LSU Investigating Odell Beckham Jr. Cash Incident
In a weird twist, LSU Athletics officials initially said it was fake money. However, everything has reversed course.
Joe Burrow admitted it was real money on the Pardon My Take podcast. Now the school is investigating the incident from the CFP national championship back in Baton Rouge.
"We are aware of the situation regarding Odell Beckham Jr. interacting with LSU student-athletes and others unaffiliated with the team following the championship game Monday night. Initial information suggested bills that were exchanged were novelty bills. Information and footage reviewed since shows apparent cash may have also been given to LSU student-athletes. We were in contact with the NCAA and the SEC immediately upon learning of this situation in which some of our student-athletes may have been placed in a compromising position. We are working with our student-athletes, the NCAA and the SEC in order to rectify the situation."
LSU football fans are enjoying the big win, but there's more to come from this.
This post was originally published on January 14, 2020 before updating.
LSU Bans Odell Beckham Jr. for 2 Years
School banning Odell Beckham Jr. from its facilities for 2 yrs for handing out cash.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 21, 2020
It was only a matter of time before something happened with Odell Beckham Jr.'s cash-giving incident at the CFP national title game, and it all went down during the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak.
On October 21, Sports Illustrated reported LSU's self-imposed penalties, including banning the NFL star from its team facilities for two years. OBJ, an ex-LSU receiver, reportedly distributed $2,000 worth of $100 bills on the sideline. It was considered a Level III violation.
That wasn't it, though. There was more the school reported to the NCAA.
LSU has docked itself eight football scholarships over a two-year period. The Tigers have also reduced recruiting visits, evaluations and communications after a two-year investigation discovered "uncovered booster payments to the father of a football player."
The LSU football player in question is former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander. His father reportedly received $180,000 in stolen money from LSU booster John Paul Funes.
The school also reported an "impermissible recruiting contact" by LSU head coach Ed Orgeron in January 2019.
The goal of this, of course, is to hopefully please the NCAA so no further punishment will be handed down, including a possible postseason ban.
"LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program," LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director Robert Munson said, via Sports Illustrated. "We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter."
Banning OBJ for two years definitely isn't the only story here. It's not even the biggest. However, it is notable, and certainly a lesson to learn.
Enjoy all things sports?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.