For LSU, this week should be one full of celebration and jubilation. The Tigers defeated Clemson in the national championship to capture the fourth title in program history. While the excitement of winning it all should be the only thing on the players’ minds, events after the game could cause some headaches down the line.
Burrow and Beckham MoneyGate
Videos surfaced of Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver and LSU alum Odell Beckham Jr. handing out cash to current LSU players during the teams’ celebrations. These videos have led to questions about possible ramifications for LSU’s players and the program.
Immediately after the footage went viral, the school released a statement claiming that Beckham was handing out fake money for show. However, during an interview on Pardon My Take later in the week, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow revealed the money was real. The school has since retracted their initial statement.
The entire situation is silly in reality; but at the end of the day Burrow and Beckham put LSU in a difficult spot.
Before anything else is said, Saturday Tailgate endorses paying the players. The only reason that the media is running with this story is because the NCAA feels the need to hog their massive profits instead of allocating it fairly to the players. If the NCAA allowed athletes to make money, just like any normal college student, there would be no controversy whatsoever.
However, Odell, what are you doing? Given the NCAA’s current stance on paying players, handing out cash on camera is a bonehead move. OBJ is not stupid and knows the possible ramifications that the LSU players could face from an overly-sensitive NCAA. It’s just such a self-serving, look-at-me act that doesn’t really benefit anyone, and jeopardizes the futures of the student-athletes.
Burrow admitting the money was real was not the most intelligent decision either. This forced the NCAA to conduct an investigation that otherwise might never have happened. In addition, before spilling the beans, Burrow mentioned he is, “..not a student athlete anymore..”. That sounds like he knew what he was doing and just didn’t care what happened next to LSU.
Overall, Beckham and Burrow both acted selfishly and didn’t think about the potential consequences of their actions. There is no way of knowing exactly what punishments the NCAA will dole out, if any. Should they decide to, Odell and Burrow will have to shoulder some of the blame.