BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU is imposing penalties on its football program after an investigation revealed booster payments to the father of a student-athlete, according to a report from Sports Illustrated.
The penalties reportedly stem from back when Joe Alleva was athletic director and Les Miles was head coach. The father of former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander reportedly received $180,000 in stolen money from LSU booster John Paul Funes, who pleaded guilty to federal felony wire fraud and money laundering charges. The investigation noted Ed Orgeron had impermissible contact with a recruit in January 2019.
Sports Illustrated is also reporting LSU is banning former player and current Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from its facilities for two years. Beckham gave $2,000 in cash to LSU players immediately following the team’s national championship victory in New Orleans on Jan. 13.
The LSU football program will also reduce its recruiting visits, evaluations, and communication, according to Sports Illustrated. The report stated eight total scholarships over the next two years gone, 21 fewer days of official visits, and fewer unofficial visits to the school during the calendar year.
Robert Munson, LSU’s sr. assoc. athletic director, issued the following statement to the publication Wednesday, Oct. 21:
“LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program. We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter.”
The NCAA will look at LSU’s self-imposed penalties and decide if they are enough based on the violations. What will be key moving forward is whether the NCAA decides to group together the basketball investigation that has been going on since 2018 with these new football violations or leave it separate.
If the two investigations are treated as one into the school, it could mean stiffer penalties down the line. Obviously, the football program and all of the LSU administration would prefer the two are kept separate.
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