OBJ

Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was seen handing out money to Tigers players after the national championship game.

The LSU athletic department said Wednesday afternoon it is working with the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference over the controversy involving former LSU star Odell Beckham Jr., who may have been handing out cash to players after the national championship game.

At first, an LSU athletic official told The Advocate the bills Beckham handed out weren't real. There were novelty bills found on the field during the postgame celebration, and the school said later Tuesday evening it was unclear whether those were the same bills Beckham was handing out.

"Initial information suggested bills that were exchanged were novelty bills," LSU said in a statement. "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.”

The statement is the most recent development in the controversy that began moments after LSU's 42-25 win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Joe Burrow said former LSU star Odell Beckham Jr. gave him money after the national championship game, adding another piece to the controversy that began when video surfaced on social media of Beckham appearing to hand out cash to LSU players.

A sleepy Burrow drew on short memories during an interview on "Pardon My Take," a podcast on Barstool Sports, and he talked about his night out in New Orleans after LSU beat Clemson 42-25.

Burrow said he'd gotten back to the team hotel around 7:30 a.m. One of the hosts then asked the LSU quarterback if Beckham had given him money.

"I'm not a student athlete anymore," Burrow said. "So I can say yeah."

It's uncertain where the novelty bills came from.

Junior wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Jontre Kirklin were in the video that surfaced Tuesday morning.

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LSU won, 42-25, for its first national championship since the 2007 season.

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Beckham played high school football at Newman High School in New Orleans and later went on to star with the Tigers from 2011-2013.

He's currently a member of the Cleveland Browns.

NCAA student-athletes are not permitted from profiting off their likeness, which includes selling equipment or autographs.

Players also cannot receive monetary gifts.

On Tuesday, LSU coach Ed Orgeron and junior linebacker Patrick Queen said during a morning news conference it was the first they were hearing about the incident.

"No sir, I did not see that," Queen said.

"First I'm hearing about it," Orgeron said.

Beckham was at the center of multiple controversies after LSU's national championship.

While the Tigers were smoking victory cigars in the locker room, a law enforcement officer stepped in and told the players anyone caught smoking was subject to arrest.

Another officer stepped in to tell them it was OK to smoke in the locker room, according to an AL.com report, and nobody was arrested and the party continued.

A video surfaced on social media of an officer speaking to LSU right guard Damien Lewis. At the end of the video, Beckham appeared to hit the officer on his back side.

Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.