LSU self-imposes bowl ban for current season amid NCAA probe

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
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BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU is self-imposing a one-year ban on postseason play for this season as part an effort to cooperate with an NCAA probe into rules violations.

“LSU leadership made this decision after careful deliberation and review of the NCAA rules violations that have been discovered in the university’s cooperative investigation with the NCAA” and Independent Accountability Resolution Process, the athletic department said in a statement. “This decision reflects LSU’s commitment to compliance with NCAA regulations and maintenance of institutional control.”

Much of the NCAA’s investigation of LSU’s football program pre-dates the promotion Ed Orgeron to head coach during the 2016 season and hiring of current athletic director Scott Woodward in 2019.

“I respect the university’s decision to proactively address NCAA issues from the past,” Orgeron said. “I share the disappointment of our student-athletes who will not be able to compete this season in a bowl game. I am especially proud of our players’ dedication to the program during these unprecedented times in our country.”

Some of the more serious allegations involved LSU booster John Paul Funes, who is a former chief executive for a Baton Rouge hospital foundation. He has been accused of paying a player’s father $180,000 for a “no-show job” between 2012 and 2017.

The bowl ban comes in addition to sanctions LSU already has self-imposed, including a reduction of four scholarships in each of the next two seasons. LSU also has banned NFL and former Tigers receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from formally participating in an LSU functions for for two years. Beckham was recorded on video handing out cash to LSU football players during on-field celebrations immediately after a 42-25 victory over Clemson in last season’s national championship game in the Superdome.

“We regret the impact that this decision has on our current student-athletes, but we make it in the best interest of the football program and university,” the athletic department statement said. “LSU will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and IARP throughout the enforcement process.”