Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards says that may mean LSU may have to close its doors due to the state budget crisis.
Louisiana’s budget crisis is reaching epic levels and tonight John Bel Edwards, the Governor of Louisiana said LSU may have to close down.
Here are some of the things Governor Edwards said about Louisiana’s higher education system.
"I will also tell you about cuts we are facing that, without your support to fix, will close down higher education institutions all across our state.As I sit here with you tonight, we now have a more than $940 million budget deficit for this current fiscal year, ending June 30. In the year that starts July 1, we are facing a $2 billion budget deficit. And because the Louisiana Constitution does not allow us to fix either of these budget deficits in the regular legislative session this year, we have just three weeks, starting this Sunday, to make the changes we need."
It’s not that the Governor is singling out LSU, the cuts will affect all of Louisiana’s universities, but LSU is going to be the most heavily effected and here’s why…
"As I mentioned earlier, if the legislature fails to act and we are forced to proceed with these cuts, the LSU Ag Center and parish extension offices in every parish, and Pennington Biomedical Research Center will close by April 1st and the LSU main campus in Baton Rouge will run out of money after April 30th, as will the Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and LSU Eunice. There is no money left for payroll after those dates. The Southern University System, and University of Louisiana System, and the Louisiana Community and Technical College System are in the same boat: without legislators approving new revenue this special session, some campuses will be forced to declare financial bankruptcy, which would include massive layoffs and the cancellation of classes.If you are a student attending one of these universities, it means that you will receive a grade of incomplete, many students will not be able to graduate and student athletes across the state at those schools will be ineligible to play next semester. That means you can say farewell to college football next fall."
It’s not that the Governor is threatening to cancel college football for LSU, he’s saying the entire school will have to shut down.
I don’t know if this is accurate, I don’t know if LSU will find a way to continue to keep the doors open. I do know that over 50% of the students at LSU are on a TOPS scholarship and Louisiana has stopped payment on those scholarships. That means LSU might lose 50% of its income. LSU is already in crisis mode after basically filling for academic bankruptcy. This all at the school that wanted to fire Les Miles and hire a new coach, unbelievable. (Maybe Les should have run while he had the chance?)
The athletic department budget and the LSU general budget are separate, so it’s not a matter of picking academics over athletics. LSU can’t actually just funnel the money from the athletic department into the general budget, though they can take loans from it.
If LSU doesn’t have classes though none of LSU’s atheletes will be eligible to play. That would mean no LSU football in 2016.
Alabama isn’t one to point fingers, we have our own budget crisis at the moment. Our Governor who is hated by both republicans and democrats just wants to take the money we need from the general education fund, our universities are fine.
Here’s the real question though…
The fiscal year for Louisiana ends in June, so I’m sure they will find a way to keep this from happening before then. After all the swamp folks might put up with fewer hospitals, but they will riot if you take away LSU football.