The money that Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. distributed on the field after LSU‘s national championship victory Monday was real, Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow said in a podcast interview released Wednesday and was reported by ESPN.com.
“I’m not a student-athlete anymore, so I can say yeah,” Burrow said on the most recent episode of Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take.”
LSU’s athletic department issued a statement Wednesday saying it was aware of video showing “apparent cash” being given to players by Beckham and that it has been in contact with the NCAA and the SEC regarding the matter.
“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,” the LSU statement said. “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.
An LSU spokesperson on Tuesday morning had told the Baton Rouge Advocate that the money being handed out on the field by Beckham, a former LSU star, was counterfeit.
In a now-private Twitter video that initially went viral, Beckham was filmed handing out what appeared to be real cash to LSU players in the aftermath of the Tigers’ 42-25 win against Clemson for the university’s first national championship since 2007.
After the game, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he wasn’t aware of the incident.
“First I’m hearing about it,” Orgeron told reporters in New Orleans after the game.
If the money being doled out by Beckham was real, as Burrow said Tuesday, it would be a violation of NCAA bylaws. Cash is an example of impermissible benefits that are prohibited by the governing body.
Bobby Petrino, a coach with a track record of on-the-field success and off-the-field embarrassments, will be the next coach at Missouri State.
Petrino, 58, will be introduced at a news conference today. He will replace Dave Steckel, who was fired last week after winning just 13 games in five seasons.
Petrino has a 119-56 record in 14 seasons at Arkansas, Western Kentucky and Louisville.
... Tee Higgins, Clemson’s leader in receiving yards and touchdowns, is forgoing his final college season to enter the NFL draft. Higgins announced his decision on social media.
Higgins had 1,167 yards on 59 catches with 13 touchdowns as the Tigers (14-1) won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. He had a career-record 27 touchdown catches in three seasons with the Tigers.