Louisiana elected a new governor after Bobby Jindal left the state a complete disaster. John Bel Edwards is left with the difficult task of eliminating a huge state deficit and correcting a budget that has more holes than Texas Tech’s run defense. One way that Edwards plans on fixing this problem is by immediately suspending the TOPS program, which is a scholarship program funded by the state for qualifying students. This program helps them pay for some of their college education and is usually paid for by state taxes.
According to Edwards, if he doesn’t do this, many state schools will be forced to close and … well, I’ll just let him tell you.
ICYMI: full video of Governor John Bel Edwards quote of the future of college football in Louisiana. pic.twitter.com/G42INObiBz
— Kelsey Wingert (@KelsWingert) February 12, 2016
Yep, the new governor of Louisiana just threatened college football even though LSU was so close to paying Les Miles a lot of money to go away that the former governor felt the need to tweet out his support for Miles.
As a resident of the state of Louisiana, the only way that college football WON’T be played, where the governor is threatening it, is if the state were to sink into the Gulf of Mexico.
Here are Edwards’ quotes transcribed by NOLA.com:
The Louisiana TOPS scholarship fund is now so depleted that fewer high school students will receive awards and current recipients are in jeopardy of losing their existing scholarships.
Even with additional revenue, higher education this year will need to cut $42 million. This will be combined with a $28 million cut in TOPS scholarship funds that the universities will have to absorb, resulting in the largest mid-year cut in Louisiana history. However, if there is no new revenue raised this year, higher education will face catastrophic cuts over the next 4 months. And that comes on the heels of the largest disinvestment in higher education in the nation over the last eight years.
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.
Good luck with that.
The LSU athletic program contributed $10.05 million dollars to the school’s academic fund last year.