It sure seemed like an NCAA violation.
Seconds before NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. did an interview with a CNN reporter, he was seen giving out money to players for his alma mater, Louisiana State University, after they’d won the national championship game:
— MorganLagreeTBP (@MorganLagreeTBP) January 14, 2020
Sports Illustrated pointed out the potential problem:
“After the confetti fell on the field, Beckham was spotted handing out handfuls of cash to two Tigers players. The current Browns wideout pulled out a big stack of bills and peeled some off to hand to receiver Justin Jefferson and defensive back Jontre Kirklin. At least a few of the banknotes appear to be $100 bills.
… [It] is about as clear a violation of NCAA rules as you could imagine. … If either player wants to suit up for LSU again they better have handed that cash back to Beckham. “
But look at the people around Beckham. Nobody seemed to sweat it, least of all the reporter who watched it happen.
Beckham, who’s currently with the Cleveland Browns, apparently gives the players at his alma mater all kinds of gifts.
But this time, as the LSU newspaper The Advocate reports, the school claims the money was fake.
The story caught fire because it was a brazen and in-your-face apparent violation. Usually, shady NCAA shenanigans occur in private. There’s no rule about giving out fake, made-for-tv money.
There’s no telling what message Beckham was trying to send by giving the “money” to the two players.
Here’s Beckham dancing with the players in the locker room after LSU’s 42-25 victory over Clemson.