LSU football recruiting has taken a self-imposed blow.
Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday that the school is imposing several recruiting sanctions including docking itself eight football scholarships over a two-year period.
It is LSU’s response after a nearly two-year investigation uncovered booster payments to the father of a football player. Last October, John Paul Funes, the former president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake (OLOL) Foundation in Baton Rouge, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for stealing more than $555,000 from the foundation. Prosecutors indicated $180,000 went to the father of former LSU football lineman Vadal Alexander.
Besides reducing scholarships, LSU’s ban includes eliminating 12.5% of official and unofficial recruiting visits, a 21-day reduction of the normal 168 days of allowable off-campus contacts and a six-week ban in communication with prospects.
LSU already has 18 commitments for the recruiting Class of 2021. Schools are allowed to sign 25 recruits each year. Teams are normally allowed to have a maximum of 85 players on scholarship per year.
The NCAA now can accept LSU’s self-imposed penalties or choose to levy stiffer sanctions, such as a post-season bowl ban.
“LSU has worked proactively and in cooperation with the NCAA to identify and self-report any violations that occurred within our football program,” Robert Munson, LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director, said in the statement. “We believe these self-imposed penalties are appropriate and we will continue to coordinate and cooperate with the NCAA on this matter.”
Also, as part of the self-imposed sanctions, LSU has banned ex-former star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from its facilities for two years. Beckham distributed $2,000 worth of $100 bills to LSU players in the on-field (as seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74NEAEnuOMM) celebration following LSU’s win over Clemson in the national championship game.