Sorry, LSU, you aren’t sliding your way out of this one.
Your self-imposed bowl game ban enacted Wednesday is not taking actual accountability for your actions. It reeks of performative bullshit.
LSU’s football program is being investigated for breaking Level I NCAA rules from 2012-17. That is the highest level of NCAA infraction, reserved for “violations that seriously undermine or threaten the integrity of the NCAA collegiate model as set forth in the Constitution and bylaws.”
LSU’s alleged violations include a $180,000 payment by LSU booster John Paul Funes to James Alexander for a “no-show job,” according to documents obtained by The Advocate. Alexander’s son is Vadal Alexander, a Raiders offensive lineman who formerly started at tackle and guard for LSU from 2012 through 2015 under former coach Les Miles. Funes admitted in court to embezzling $500,000 from a Baton Rouge hospital.
LSU will cut eight football scholarships over the next two years as part of their penance.
LSU is also “penalizing” itself for the $2,000 former Tigers receiver Odell Beckham Jr. handed out to players following their win over Clemson in the national championship game in January.
Isn’t it quite convenient that the school announces this ban with two weeks remaining in a season in which they are 3-5 and might not qualify for a bowl game in the first place?
Record-wise, this is their worst year since 1999.
Also, according to USA Today, the program considered imposing a ban as soon as the third week of the season:
At the time, the defending national champion was 1-2 and conceivably had a chance to finish with a decent season. Now at 3-5 and a 24.5-point underdog at No. 6 Florida (8-1) Saturday, but with bowls still interested, LSU has added a bowl ban to its previous self-imposed penalties offered to the NCAA on Oct. 21.
LSU likely isn’t going to a bowl game, so it’s time for them to “do the right thing.”
They are giving up crumbs for the sake of optics.
Convenient much? For a team that won the national championship a year ago, their season has been the epitome of a fall from grace. They should have an asterisk on the plaque of their trophy.
In a year where Title IX has intentionally been pulled up by the root and done away with by those confessing to care about equality and justice, LSU football also had a bombshell sexual assault investigation revealed by USA Today.
I mean, if they were serious about accountability, wouldn’t they have imposed a bowl game ban then? Did another month need to go by before someone asked, “Hmmm, maybe we should discipline ourselves again?”
It’s not adding up.
The USA Today investigation showed that since head coach Ed Orgeron took over LSU in 2016, nine players were reported to police for sexual misconduct. The school only disciplined two. The report also uncovered three instances where LSU allowed the players to stay on campus rather than expelling or suspending them for sexual assault.
Basically, a big “F-you” to victims.
The NCAA says a Title IX investigation report on LSU will be released in February.
Let’s be all the way honest: LSU athletics is out of control, and it’s been spiraling for a while.
“I respect the university’s decision to proactively address NCAA issues from the past,” Orgeron said in a statement Wednesday. “I share the disappointment of our student-athletes who will not be able to compete this season in a bowl game. 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.”
You have your players committing sexual assault and not being reprimanded, on top of corruption by a booster via the form of embezzlement and using connections to hand over a six-figure payment for a “no-show job” to a current player’s parent.
How is all of this happening, and the only ramifications, as of now, are a half-hearted self-ban … because “LSU cares and doesn’t stand for this?”
These “postseason” bans by the school being investigated always come down to attempting to mitigate the hammer coming down on them by the NCAA.
We see right through you, LSU.