Odell Beckham Jr., a fun 27-year-old LSU player, decided to celebrate his alma mater's national championship victory on Monday by handing over money to some of the winning players.
But while this move was seen as impressive in almost every other imaginable context, it created headaches for LSU's well-paid administrators and NCAA's well-paid sanctioners.
Because in the world of college athletics, the pay for winning a championship game that generated millions of dollars for the institution is a huge no-no. Even for players like wide receiver Justin Jefferson, a junior who is due to enter the NFL 2020 Draft.
In a statement Wednesday, LSU acknowledged what defender Joe Burrow said Wednesday, writing in a statement that "your conscious money may have been … handed over to LSU student-athletes." This comes after the school briefly claimed that the money was fake, which, as a side note, would be an absolutely bizarre item for Beckham to give away.
LSU said it "immediately" contacted the NCAA and SEC knowing that some of its athletes "may have been placed in a compromising position."
Earning money to win the most prestigious trophy in college football is a compromised position. The fact that an LSU spokesman will type this line without irony without throwing the computer out the window or leaving work immediately in recognition of the insane double standard at hand is crazy.
Beckham probably did not want to create a controversy. He probably just wanted to support a group of players who made him proud.
But whatever his motives, what he did shed further light on the absurdity of university athletics and the unreadable administrators of the moral code to which they cling.
Beckham made the NCAA look like a circus. This is always a good thing.