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LSU football program self-imposes bowl ban for 2020 season

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and the defending national champion Tigers are 3-5 this season. LSU won't play in a bowl game for the first time since 1999. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and the defending national champion Tigers are 3-5 this season. LSU won't play in a bowl game for the first time since 1999. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The LSU football program self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2020-21 bowl season, the school announced Wednesday.

The one-year bowl ban is part of LSU's effort to cooperate with an NCAA investigation into improper booster payments to its football players. In late October, the Tigers self-imposed a series of sanctions, including a loss of eight scholarships over two years and a reduction in recruiting visits, evaluations and communication.

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The school also banned Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from its football facilities for two years.

"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," the school said in a statement Wednesday. "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.

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"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."

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Most of the violations occurred before the promotion of Ed Orgeron to head coach during the 2016 season and the hiring of athletic director Scott Woodward in 2019.

"I respect the university's decision to proactively address NCAA issues from the past," Orgeron said. "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."

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The defending national champion Tigers are 3-5 this season. LSU is scheduled to play at Florida on Saturday and at home vs. Ole Miss on Dec. 19.

The postseason ban means LSU will fail to play in a bowl game for the first time since 1999.

LSU's football violations are part of a wider NCAA probe that has been ongoing for the last three years. The NCAA is already investigating alleged violations by head coach Will Wade and the LSU men's basketball program.

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