LSU president says state budget problem creates system-wide collateral damage

LSU president says state budget problem creates system-wide collateral damage

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Parents may not want to hear some of what the LSU president had to say Monday as other schools are like sharks in the water while LSU tries to stay afloat.

LSU's Agricultural Center will not make its payroll in April and the Pennington Research Center will fall short the following month if lawmakers fail to fix the budget, according to comments made by LSU System President F. King Alexander.

The LSU president said the perennial budget problem is creating system-wide collateral damage. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to plug the budget shortfall for the current fiscal year during a special session.

Alexander laid out his case at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday, saying that LSU is already seeing other schools use the state's money problems against them.

"Do we want to talk about it? No," Alexander said. "We've got coaches using it against our recruits in sports saying, 'Why would you go to LSU? They may not even have a summer school. You may not even be eligible by NCAA standards if you go to LSU.'"

The LSU president said it is frustrating to have to keep talking best and worst case scenarios, and it is starting to hurt LSU's ability to attract and keep students.

"All were asking for is quit cutting our legs out from under us," Alexander said.

Alexander said while other universities are busy recruiting the best and the brightest, he is just concerned with keeping the lights on and paying employees. He said dire warnings about the impacts beyond the classroom are real.

"For us to go in front of you and say football will be damaged by this, and I know a bunch people said well that's not going to happen" Alexander said. "That will happen if we don't have summer school will only have half of the football team eligible. It's not us saying that it's the NCAA telling us that."

LSU officials said they are being efficient as possible, spending less per students than almost every other major school in the country. That is not always a good thing, and they aren't sure how they can absorb further cuts.

"And I just hope that the parents I'm talking to, when I'm recruiting students don't find that out because how many parents want their kids, want me to get up and say come to LSU because will spend less on your son or daughter than anybody else in America."

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