Former University of Texas linebacker Emmanuel Acho said on ESPN Thursday that he doesn't "have a problem" with Odell Beckham Jr. doling out cash to LSU players after Beckham's former team won the national championship Monday and that Texas offered defensive backs $1,000 for every pass they intercepted in the title game against Alabama a decade go.
Beckham, currently a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns, dominated headlines this week when it appeared he was giving money to players in the afterglow of their victory over Clemson. Appearing on the network's "Get Up" program, ESPN college football analyst Acho described an incentive program that he was privy to during the 2009-10 season. "We went to the national championship game in 2009 and ... it was public to the team, for every interception the defensive back got, they were going to get $1,000," Acho said of Texas' 37-21 loss to the Crimson Tide on Jan. 7, 2010. "For every pick y'all got against Alabama in the national championship game, you're going to get $1,000. Now, the difference is we just didn't do it publicly on the field.
"What my problem is, though, everybody masquerades Odell Beckham as a guy who thinks, 'Oh, I plotted this out. I'm going to go out, hand this money and they're going to talk about me on Get Up.' That's not what he's thinking. That's not what he's thinking."
As reported by 247sports.com, Acho told the story to illustrate his point that he believes what Beckham did after LSU's 42-25 win over Clemson on Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans was harmless. Beckham was seen on the field after the game giving junior wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who declared Wednesday for the 2020 NFL draft, money in a handshake. LSU officials initially said Tuesday that the money was fake, but they retracted their earlier statements Wednesday, adding that the Tigers were working with the NCAA and SEC to rectify the situation.
"I don't have a problem with it, for two reasons — the first layer is, 'Odell's seeking attention, he's seeking attention,' " Acho said. "Odell Beckham, just by existing, by breathing out oxygen, he will get attention. That's who he is. That has nothing to do with him. The second thing I have a problem with, as far as the perception that's been painted, is the NCAA — they only care because they can't control the narrative.
"Remember, four days prior, Odell Beckham gifts the entire team Beats headphones. Y'all do the math. That's over $45,000, if you count the players and the coaches. But that's fine. Hey, NCAA, guess what? The players are probably taking those headphones and selling them because they need the bread. So that's my biggest issues. Those are my primary takeaways."