LSU prez: Budget crisis a legit threat to football due to player eligibility –

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LSU President F. King Alexander reiterated Tuesday that the state’s severe budget crisis is indeed a legitimate threat to the LSU football season.

In February, Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards said that if new taxes weren’t implemented to increase revenue and budget cuts were made, the state’s university system could shut down before summer semester, which would mean no classes and therefore have major implications for LSU’s football season.

Alexander said that people brushing it off as an empty threat to push lawmakers into acting were wrong.

β€œI know a lot of people will say, β€˜Well, that’s not going to happen,’” Alexander said about the prospect of LSU football being hurt, per The Advocate. β€œWell, that will happen if we don’t have summer school. We’ll only have half of our football team eligible.”

The point many missed after the governor’s comments was not that the football program would be shut down, but that if the school itself could not pay faculty and students would not be able to go to classes over the summer that would make much of the LSU football team academically ineligible to play by the NCAA.

β€œIt’s not us saying that,” Alexander told The Advocate. β€œIt’s the NCAA telling us that β€” that student athletes have to be eligible to play. And yes, classes and sports go together. They’re student athletes, you can’t have one without the other.”

According to The Advocate, LSU’s Baton Rouge campus is facing a $17 million budget cut under the “most modest” budget cut proposal, with the LSU system as a whole facing $33 million in cuts. That amount being cut would require layoffs, and if efforts aren’t made to increase revenue — read: taxes being increased — the cuts to staff could be more dramatic, including the school filing for financial exigency which would allow them to fire tenured staff.

LSU football (USATSI)
LSU’s president says the football season could indeed be impacted by the budget crisis. (USATSI)