LSU Football Issues Self-Imposed Bowl Ban for 2020 Season as IARP Investigation Looms

Tigers 2020 season will end on Dec. 19 at home against Ole Miss
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LSU will not be participating in a 2020 bowl game this season. The athletic department announced a one year bowl ban on the football program over various NCAA violations. 

The Tigers' 2020 season will come to a close at home against Ole Miss on Dec. 19. The bowl ban stems from various recruiting and program violations made that are currently under investigation. 

It'll be the first time LSU has not played in a bowl game since the 1999 season, which was also its last losing season. 

“LSU has informed the NCAA and SEC that it will self-impose a one-year postseason ban on its football program for the 2020-21 bowl season, in addition to self-imposed sanctions already declared. LSU leadership made this decision after careful deliberation and review of the NCAA rules violations that have been discovered in the University’s cooperative investigation with the NCAA and IARP. This decision reflects LSU’s commitment to compliance with NCAA regulations and maintenance of institutional control. We regret the impact that this decision has on our current student-athletes, but we make it in the best interest of the football program and University. LSU will continue to cooperate with the NCAA and IARP throughout the enforcement process.”

The highly publicized case was sent by the NCAA to the IARP (Independent Accountability Resolution Process) for independent review and is currently investigating three separate infractions against the football program:

  • The father of former offensive lineman Vadal Alexander received $180,000 in stolen money from LSU booster John Paul Funes, who admitted in 2019 that he embezzled more than half a million dollars from Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. The money was payment from 2012 to 2017 for what the NCAA characterized as a “no-show job.”
  • Odell Beckham’s cash payments to players immediately after the Tigers won the championship. LSU officials initially told reporters that Beckham was handing out fake money, but later retracted that assertion after quarterback Joe Burrow acknowledged in an interview that the cash was real. LSU said the payments totaled $2,000, a Level III violation.
  • An impermissible recruiting contact in January 2019 by LSU coach Ed Orgeron. The school self-imposed recruiting restrictions on Orgeron

LSU coach Ed Orgeron also released a statement, saying that he understands and supports the universities decision to issue the one year postseason ban on the program.

“I respect the university’s decision to proactively address NCAA issues from the past. I share the disappointment of our student-athletes who will not be able to compete this season in a bowl game," Orgeron's statement read. "I am especially proud of our players' dedication to the program during these unprecedented times in our country. Their pride in LSU will be the driving force as we continue to build a championship program. Geaux Tigers.”

LSU has also self-imposed an eight scholarship deduction over the next two seasons as a result of the current investigation. It will likely have to sacrifice four scholarships over the next two years to fulfill the requirements issued by the school though it doesn't necessarily have to be impacted through recruiting. 

The Tigers currently have 69 scholarship players on the team following the most recent opt outs of receiver Terrace Marshall and tight end Arik Gilbert. 

This is just the latest decision adding on to what has been an absolutely horrific following act to the Tigers 2019 national championship run. Between the opt outs, active investigation into the program and the 3-5 start to the season, 2021 can't get here soon enough for the LSU program.