LSU is investigating whether running back Leonard Fournette’s family violated NCAA rules, according to USA Today.
USA Today first reported last week that Fournette’s family may have committed an NCAA violation when it met with Paul Price, the family’s business manager, to launch a website that was going to sell merchandise with featuring the phrase “BUGA Nation,” an acronym for “Being United Generates Attitude.” It’s an acronym that’s been associated with Fournette since his high school days.
Bob Barton, an attorney representing LSU, has started interviewing people involved with the website, an anonymous source told USA Today. Barton and school spokesman Michael Bonnette have declined comment, according to The Advocate.
Price paid $10,000 on behalf of the Fournette’s to build the web site for the merchandise to be sold, but they were given more than $20,000 in discounts “because they expected strong sales driven by the star running back’s popularity,” according to the USA Today report.
NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes or their families from profiting off the name, image or likeness of the athlete.
The web site reportedly launched the week of LSU’s 2014 season opener, which was days before Fournette’s collegiate career began, but was shut down a day later, according to the report. LSU did not report any violations to the SEC or NCAA regarding the web site last fall, according to The Advocate.