Ben BabyESPN Staff WriterClose
- ESPN Staff Writer
- Previously a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
- University of North Texas graduate
The money that Cleveland 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.
“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.”
The university’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.
“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.”
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 victory 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.