Jan. 15 (UPI) — Cleveland Browns wide receiver and ex-LSU star Odell Beckham Jr. was seen handing what appeared to be cash to players after their national championship win. Former Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow says the money was real.
Beckham was filmed handing the cash to several players after LSU’s 42-25 win against Clemson Monday in New Orleans. LSU initially thought the cash was fake, but Burrow confirmed the authenticity of the money during an interview Tuesday with Barstool Sports.
“I’m not a student-athlete anymore, so I can say yeah [he gave me money],” Burrow said on the Pardon My Take podcast.
LSU issued a statement after Burrow’s comment. The school is working with the NCAA and Southeastern Conference in examining the incident.
If the money was real, the players could be found to have violated NCAA bylaws. Cash gifts are considered impermissible benefits prohibited by the main governing body of college athletics.
“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,” LSU 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.
“We were in contact with the NCAA and the SEC immediately upon learning of this situation in which some of our student-athletes may have been placed in a compromising position. We are working with our student-athletes, the NCAA and the SEC in order to rectify the situation.”
LSU coach Ed Orgeron said he was not aware of the incident when asked about it after Monday’s win. Burrow — who was a senior — is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Burrow graduated from LSU in December.