There might not be not be any college football at Louisiana State University this fall. That is, if the Louisiana state government can’t come up with $2 billion dollars in a ridiculously short amount of time. You see, to make a long story short, the state of Louisiana is facing a massive budget crisis. The state’s governor, Gov. John Bel Edwards, gave a televised speech that had a whole mess of bad news for both the state of Louisiana, and college students, as well as student-athletes. The state currently has a more than $940 million budget deficit for this current fiscal year, which ends June 30. In the year that starts on July 1, the state is facing a $2 billion budget deficit.
So why does that affect college students? One way the state is trying to deal with the impending budget crisis, it has decided to stop funding the TOPS scholarship program immediately. TOPS, short for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, is Louisiana’s popular college scholarship program which typically covers tuition for in-state students who meet certain academic benchmarks, per The Advocate. LSU currently has 53 percent of its students on TOPS.
State legislators will begin to meet this Sunday and will only have three weeks to make the necessary changes to the budget, aka find a way to get rid of that impending $2 billion deficit in the current budget. The Louisiana Constitution does not allow these budget deficits to be fixed during the regular legislative session, so that’s why they have such a limited amount of time to get this fixed.
To get into LSU specifically, the Baton Rogue campus is set to run out of money on April 30th. Current students at LSU are set to will receive a grade of incomplete, which will hinder graduation dates and student-athletes across the state at those schools will be ineligible to play next semester. That means you, LSU football student-athletes.
Yikes. This is a horrible situation for both the state of Louisiana and obviously college students everywhere there. And I think we all can agree that college football is much better with LSU and Les Miles in it.
I’d recommend reading Gov. Edwards’ full speech by clicking here — it’s lengthy, but worth the read, as everything is laid out pretty clearly.