Shaquille O’Neal says LSU ‘paid very well’ at Lakers fan event

LSU probably wishes that Shaquille O’Neal would stop bringing its name up right about now.

At a fan event on Monday sponsored by the Lakers, O’Neal brought up the Tigers and said some interesting things about the benefits he was offered during his time there.

It should be noted that the Los Angeles Times also went on to mention that O’Neal seemed to be “speaking honestly” when discussing his time at LSU.

Since speaking on Monday, O’Neal has walked back from his comments, telling the Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that he was joking.

“You guys know I’m the life of the party, so I had to pick it up,” O’Neal said to the Advocate. “So every question they asked me, I had to give them a funny response.”

Obviously, that’s not the best look for LSU in regards to the NCAA. Also, it wouldn’t be the first time that an SEC athlete who currently works in media over at Turner Sports has brought up the illegal benefits he was provided in college. Former NBA All-Star and O’Neal co-worker Charles Barkley has said in multiple instances that he was provided money from agents during his time at Auburn.

Regardless of whether or not he was joking — and it remains unclear if that was the case, regardless of his retort — it’ll be interesting to see what the NCAA’s response is. O’Neal is right that the typical statute of limitations is up. In the most recently published NCAA Manual and rulebook, the bylaw on statute of limitations (19.5.11) states that “allegations included in a notice of allegations shall be limited to possible violations occurring not earlier than four years before the date the notice of inquiry is provided to the institution or the date the institution notifies (or, if earlier, should have notified) the enforcement staff of its inquiries into the matter.”

However, there are three exceptions to the typical four-year limitation. The third exception, listed under bylaw 19.5.11(c), states that “allegations that indicate a blatant disregard for the Association’s fundamental recruiting, extra benefit, academic or ethical-conduct bylaws or that involve an effort to conceal the occurrence of the violation. In such cases, the enforcement staff shall have a one-year period after the date information concerning the matter becomes available to the NCAA to investigate and submit to the institution a notice of allegations concerning the matter.”

That seems pretty applicable to O’Neal’s statements. Whether or not the NCAA will choose to pursue any sort of investigation about something that happened over 20 years ago is difficult to say. After all, there have been investigations for less.

O’Neal played three years at LSU, averaging 21.7 points, 13.5 rebounds and 4.6 blocks over the course of 90 games. He was a two-time All-American, and won the National Player of the Year award in 1992. Current LSU head coach Johnny Jones was an assistant at the time O’Neal was in college.

Shaquille O'Neal had some fun things to say about his time in college. (USATSI)
Shaquille O’Neal had some fun things to say about his time in college. (USATSI)


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