Louisiana Governor: "You Can Say Farewell to College Football" If Budget Deal Not Reached

John Bel Edwards threatens to cut LSU football to pass one of the largest tax increases in state history.


College football is tantamount to religion in the South.  

So when John Bel Edwards (D) went on television Thursday night and threatened to cut college football due to the state's massive budget deficit, SEC fans and sports enthusiasts reacted as if the Louisiana governor had spoken blasphemy over the state's airwaves.  

Louisiana has a budget crisis to contend with this fiscal year. As the Times-Picayune reports

The governor's staff announced Thursday that the state's current year budget deficit has reached $940 million—a price tag larger than the annual spending on LSU's Baton Rouge campus and all of New Orleans public higher education institutions combined. The state must find a way to close the gaping budget gap by June 30, when it shuts the books on the fiscal year.  

Once it resolves that budget crisis, Louisiana will be facing an immediate $2 billion shortfall in the next fiscal cycle, which starts July 1. Edwards is proposing cuts—but also large tax hikes—to deal with the financial crises both this year and next year. 

Those tax hikes include nine proposed increases on items such as alcohol, cigarettes, and rental cars to raise revenue and might even include raising rates on personal incomes.  The suggested increases have been described as the "largest in state history" by state treasurer John Kennedy. 

Which is probably why state legislators aren't buying Edwards' plan. So the governor held a rare televised address to tell constituents that budget cuts would mean canceled classes for college students— and yes—even college football would be in peril come fall.   

But Edwards' threat to cut college football is somewhat disingenuous, especially since the Louisiana State University (LSU) program actually generates revenue. While many schools receive state funds, LSU is one of seven NCAA Division I programs that does not accept state subsidies. In fact, LSU's athletic program generated so much revenue last season that it transferred over $10 million to the university's general academic fund. 

So clearly, college football—or at least LSU's program—isn't quite the albatross around the state budget's neck that the governor wants the public to believe. 

And cutting subsidies to the rest of the state's college football programs won't do a thing to solve the budget crisis Louisiana currently faces. Les Miles makes a lot of money, but not enough to put a dent in a projected $2 billion budget hole.

Instead of seeking long-term reforms that would stabilize state spending, the governor wants to scare the public by threatening to cancel football season to generate support for higher taxes. Someone throw a flag on this guy. 

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  1. I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t been deposed and/or lynched by angry fans with no official ties to LSU.

    1. Yeah, I expected a couple hundred Vandy fans camped out in his yard yelling SEC SEC.

      1. I meant LSU fans who never finished high school and certainly never attended.

  2. “Louisiana Governor: “You Can Say Farewell to College Football” If Budget Deal Not Reached”

    If it’s using taxpayer money, it should be gone regardless.

    1. And LSU isn’t using state money, so the governor’s a lying shitbag trying to scare morons into emptying their pockets for him.

      1. Seriously, the fuckhead may as well be saying that Louisiana won’t be able to pay its gravity bill if he can’t raise taxes.

        1. Didn’t he say anything about global warming? What the hell type of Democrat is this guy, he didn’t even get the party talking points.

          1. Louisiana Democrats have a general exemption from left/right coast stupidity. They prefer to generate their own, like threatening LSU football.

      2. (Shocked face)

      3. “the governor’s a lying shitbag”

        Good call.
        Pretty sure you could repeat this 56 times and it would still be true.

        1. What was done there: it was seen.

          1. I didn’t see any server squirrels.

    2. LSU football makes money. It would make more sense to cut out all the women’s sports and keep the sports that generate cash if you have a budget crisis. I would say to the Governor. Fuck you, try it. You’ll find your clothes on the front lawn of the governors mansion in the morning. Locks will be changed as well.

      1. Now that would be awesome – a Title IX action against the governor!

  3. The comparison to religion is apt. And the Governor is Oral Roberts. And God will call LSU football home unless the state gets more money.

  4. His argument is more subtle than that. He claims that classes would have to be cut, and that students would be unable to take classes in the fall, which in turn would lead the NCAA to declare Louisiana colleges in eligible to participate In intercollegiate sports. I have no idea if that is even remotely true

    1. “I have no idea if that is even remotely true”

      Neither does he, but his staff handed him the script and he read it.

    2. That actually makes some sense. Players have to attend classes to be eligible.

      1. Hahahahaha

        yeah Bubba, that was a good one.

      2. But if football is that profitable for them, the revenue could pay for the players’ classes. Maybe nobody else’s, but at least theirs.

  5. OT: Chicken littles get to spend YOUR tax dollars.

    “U.S. agencies to study safety of artificial turf fields”
    “Three U.S. government agencies will team up to study whether artificial turf fields and playgrounds that use bits of recycled tires are exposing children to dangerous chemicals.
    the senators cited research from a University of Washington soccer coach who found 153 reported cases of cancer involving athletes who spent significant periods of time playing on crumb rubber turf….”

    Hmm. An epidemiological study conducted by soccer coach? Prediction; the man or woman has no idea what they’re talking about.
    Second prediction: Trace amounts of heavy metal will be found and mommies will demand their snowflakes be protected against ANY exposure, leading to removal of turf, increased water use and more gophers.

    1. “Check me if I’m wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key.”

  6. Now I know why the cretin Weigel was shilling so hard for this guy.

    Call this punk’s bluff, state legislature. He doesn’t have the balls.

  7. They should call his bluff. Either he sticks to his word and ensures that his political opponents dominate the state for a generation, or he folds and looks like an idiot.

    1. Why can’t it be even better? Why can’t he call their bluff and shut down the foozball? Then he’s lynched up by an angry foozball mob? Can’t anything good ever happen?

      1. John Bel Booshay is da debil! I invented the foozball, get him!!!

  8. Wow, a Democrat who wants to raise taxes? And who talks of impending doom and apocalypse if it doesn’t happen? I am shocked I tell you. Sheep have wool, news at 11.

    1. Yes, and I’m very confudent that there is nothing else to cut. They’re just a few pesos away from total anarchy.

    2. The Mouflon disagrees.

  9. Ah, Bobby Jindal! Squandered a $1B surplus he inherited from a Democrat, because you know, GOP fiscal responsibility. Reminds one of GW Bush.

    That’s a cue for all you GOP apologists.

    1. Lol. I came here to post “Blame Bobby Jindal”

      Did you read the part about a billion dollar shortfall for this year and another 2B next year?

      This is really about the oil crash. Louisiana is a one trick pony. Oil and the casinos that skim oil worker pay checks.

    2. I did. This site is usually replete with GOP apologists. I’m sure if Jindal was a Dem it would have been duly noted in the article.

      Thought this was a great article by Stephen Winham who once was a Budget Director in La. Note it was written when Jindal was Gov, and he was warning whoever the next Governor was going to be about the catastrophe he/she was walking into.


      1. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 11:31AM|#
        “This site is usually replete with GOP apologists”

        Fucking ignoramus lies once again.

      2. I recall Jindal’s election having a lot to do with his predecessor’s feckless handling of Katrina. Gee, imagine a state that was the Southern version of IL having long-time systemic issues.

        1. Ah, Jindal getting elected due to Katrina gives him a pass on the budget, eh? I know, walking and chewing gum….

          You’re not trying to make an excuse for him, are you?

          1. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 12:58PM|#
            “I know, walking and chewing gum….”
            Keep trying, you might make it one day…

            “You’re not trying to make an excuse for him, are you?”
            Fucking imbecile straw-grasping.

    3. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 10:51AM|#
      “That’s a cue for all you GOP apologists.”

      Yeah. D shitbag, we’ll let you know when we find some.
      And who left the door into the ‘fucking ignoramus’ corridor open? Now we have an infestation.

    4. There you go, Bubba! As predicted!

      1. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 11:33AM|#
        “There you go, Bubba! As predicted!”

        Would someone please call the exterminator? This fucking ignoramus is stinking up the place.

    5. Jindal invested that money in roadz and edukaysun.

      Politicians invest they never spend.

    6. Here’s a piece from last year in the American Conservative about Bobby’s budget shenanigans.

      The new governor is doing exactly the wrong thing to handle the budget shortfall, natch, being from the tax-and-spend party, but Jindal wasn’t exactly what you’d call a small-government fiscal conservative himself.

      1. Good article, thanks for posting. Yep, the handwriting has been on the wall for some time.

        Note that even some Repubs were telling Jindal that he had to be considering raising the top line on the budget as well. Of course he wouldn’t. It’s what the new Governor is saying must be done.

  10. Elections, consequences, painted walls. Rinse and repeat.

    It’s the same story with you mammals

    1. Listen, if it wasn’t for our highly developed ability to delude ourselves, your species wouldn’t stand a chance.

      1. Exactly…who do you think has been funding your progressives. It ain’t the illuminati bitches

  11. I am confused by the link showing ncaa budgets. There are a few profitable programs that also receive subsidies. i double checked that some of them have a gross profit that is larger than the subsidy, so wtf?

    1. Hey Bubba, you see how many Republican apologists I had to argue with here today? Like I said, this blog is overrun with them.

      1. fuck off, joe

  12. When people complain about tuition being too high and the amount of money spent on college football programs they are assured that college football programs actually make money, a fiscal plus.

    JBE is theatening to cut LSU’s football program because we have a budget deficit.

    So, which is it? Does college football amount to a fiscal plus or a fiscal drain? If it is a fiscal drain and we are short of money then cut the damn program.

    It is almost as if this progressive POS is extorting money from the taxpayer with ‘nice football team you have there, a shame if something were to happen to it’. Hmmmm.

    *The voters didn’t want David Vitter because he fucked someone other than his wife. The voters chose a liberal democrat instead and now the voter is getting fucked. Enjoy it you stupid motherfuckers.

    1. See, you’re focusing on the issue the politician brought up.

      That’s mistake #1.

    2. I have a hard time buying that, while public money flows into nearly every professional sport in America, none goes into this college football program.

      1. Why? You have a winning program in a football-mad region with no in-state rival, and a tradition that brings in television revenue, booster donations, and all the other trimmings. True, the chart shows LSU as being on the short list of the self-sufficient but some businesses can survive without Uncle Sugar, or Uncle Boudreaux.

    3. The catastrophe is the lack of fiscal management that occurred when Republican Jindal was in office, not the proposed solutions from a Democrat that now has to fix it. Unless you think squandering a $1B surplus is a trivial matter.

      If so, maybe you could be the next governor in Louisiana.

      Nah, you enjoy.

      1. No they’re both catastrophes, and ‘moar tax’ is not a solution. If it was Illinois would dominate Texas. It does not.

    4. Now that I think about it, a Dem governor gives those voters a surplus, they vote on a Repub and he squanders it, so they decide to punish that party.

      And you would have preferred rewarding that party.

      Someone is stupid, alright.

      1. Yes, and that person is the one who clearly argues that spending gobs of money and running up large debts to the point you have to tax the crap out of your citizens is poor fiscal policy, who then lines up to defend the party that actively campaigns on doing exactly that.

        Seriously, your argument boils down to nothing more than “Jindal did the shit that all these Democrats have promised to do and it worked horribly, so you should vote Democrat!”

        Partisan shitbags gonna partisan shitbag.

        1. Fiscal policy is fiscal policy.

          A budget has a top line, lots of middle lines, and a bottom line. Fiscal policy demands you pay attention to a three. You want to cut the top line along with all the middle lines? Have at it. Jindal did exactly that. You’re still responsible for the bottom line.

          The last Governor at least managed that to some degree of success. Jindal was an abject failure.

          Voting that party back into office would indeed have been stupid. Now they have a governor telling his constituency the truth.

          1. That he needs to cut a profitable football program if they don’t raise taxes? That raising taxes is the only way to handle this, that there’s nothing that we could cut? That’s the truth?

            See if your argument against Jindal was “Republicans are full of shit, as a libertarian you should ignore their small government rhetoric and just vote LP or abstain” then I could get behind you, but since your argument is “Republicans did something bad, so the only way to get small government is to vote for the party that is even more actively hostile small government and fiscal responsibility” you are just a dishonest shitweasel.

            1. Thanks for your concluding sentence as it exemplifies the sophomoric attitude of libertarians.

              Here is what I said…given the track record in Louisiana of the last two governors it was smart of the voters to reward the party that managed the budget and punished the party who wrecked it.

              Enjoy your day!

              1. But the party who “managed the budget,” doesn’t actually manage jackshit, as evidenced by the fact that this guy doesn’t plan on making any substantial cuts to reduce the budget, and that party in fact runs on their desire to spend more.

                If you can find any Democrats who were against Jindal’s spending that ran the budget into the ground, I’ll buy you a Coke.

                1. Good try.

                  He didn’t spend. He slashed. Education was decimated, nog with lots of other programs. The problem is he also slashed the top line. And all that slashing led to catastrophe. As a Governor you do t get to ignore the top line.

                  Go read the article Ceci posted above from American Conservative and get bs k to me.

                  1. “He didn’t spend. He slashed. Education was decimated, nog with lots of other programs. ”


                  2. Everyone here know what drives up the state budget – pension, healthcare costs, etc. Look no further to Flint and Detroit. You’re not one to advocate for cutting services, so you have no real point to make. All you see a Republican running a state and you resort to partisan games while ignoring policies backed by dems that lead them to financial ruination.

                    Are you confident that all states which expanded medicaid will find money to fund it? Because the feds will give them less money in the near future and enrollment in that program has wildly exceeded initial projections.

                    States can’t print their own money. So when they lose their tax base, they face the music sooner. Louisiana can’t make money on oil as they used to. It’s really that simple.

                    That state could slash a dozen useless “ethnic studies” classes at LSU and hurt only the faculty. Ask any libertarian here, there are gazillions of wasteful things a state can cut that you and your pals would never agree to.

                    1. Everyone knows a budget is made up of middle lines as well as a top line. Jindal slashed them all, resulting in a slashed bottom line. But it takes a libertarian apologist for the GOP to defend him. When it’s an article about a Dem run state that is about to fall in the financi abyss, I’m sure Reason will point that out.

                      But good to see you defend those middle lines in the education part of the budget! Are you a Dem?

                    2. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 4:11PM|#
                      “Everyone knows a budget is made up of middle lines as well as a top line”

                      To fucking ignoramuses, I guess that means something.

                2. And since you have no clue what Jindal was doing but commented on it anyway, you owe me a coke.

    5. Well, what do you expect him to do? Cut the subsidies LA pays to Valero, Wal-Mart, or Duck Dynasty? Change LA’s regressive income tax? There’s obviously nothing left to cut, so it’s the Tigers on the chopping block or raise taxes.

  13. Politicians, needing money for government bullshit no one wants, having to lie about cutting off something people actually want, that shockingly doesn’t need any state money in the first place.

    Why not just cut the government at that point? It makes the most sense.

    Oh, yeah: because government means living in bullshit fantasyland.

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    ………………….. http://www.richi8.com

  15. LSU football generates billions without taking in any public funds and enhances LSU’s academic coiffers which are partially state funded. How the hell can you cut a self funding program that generates more public funds without public money to close a budget shortfall? Why is all the speed camera money going to the police academy, which is being tapped furiously by state troopers when that money is supposed to go to the public defenders office, which can’t take any new cases in FY17 because they are broke, and thus denying people’s right to an attorney? How about significantly reducing section 8 housing and actually requiring people to provide to the public services they seem to abuse? Or defunding historically underperforming black colleges which unlike LSU drain more public resources they provide.

    1. How the hell can you cut a self funding program that generates more public funds without public money to close a budget shortfall?

      different version of the usual mantra that first threatens to cut teachers and cops with the expectation that the proles will go along with whatever scheme is being floated instead of their asking why something useless isn’t cut instead. In other words, gamesmanship.

    2. He didn’t say he would cut LSU football. He said that the university would run out of money for classes. Without classes and the educational structure the university provides, the LSU athletic program would not be eligible to compete in the NCAA. LSU football can continue to operate by its funds provided by the private Tiger Athletic Foundation, but it will have no one to play without being part of a league.

      1. Exactly. And he is reminding his constituency that a budget is a budget, and all lines on it must get addressed if the last line is to fall in place.

        You would think it deserves praise rather than criticism.

        1. Yeah, and he’s a real genius for telling them that we need to cut classes for football players, something that actually generates a profit, than doing something about the useless crap that people don’t actually want.

          It’s like saying that I decided I needed to save money. So I cut costs by deciding to stop driving to work instead of getting rid of a landline that I don’t use or a magazine subscription I don’t read.

          1. Let me quote him

            “Raising taxes is not my first, second, or even third option when seeking to fill the state’s budget shortfall,” Governor Edwards continued. “We will begin with painful, across-the-board cuts to a wide range of discretionary state funds. Unfortunately, those cuts will not be enough to bridge the enormous shortfall we face today and in the next fiscal year. ”
            Top line AND middle lines to address the bottom line. Good fiscal management. Jindal and you shod take notes.

            1. *should. Me spell good one day!

              1. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 1:50PM|#
                “Thanks for your concluding sentence as it exemplifies the sophomoric attitude of libertarians.”
                Thanks for continuing to prove you’re a fucking lefty ignoramus.

                “Enjoy your day!”
                Stuff it up your butt!

            2. “Top line AND middle lines to address the bottom line.”

              So raise taxes on the wealthy AND the middle class? What’s the percentage of the middle and “top line” in that place? Enough to sustain a tax hike in a state running low on oil money?

              They’re not getting oil revenue, dude. The state was doing fine for the first 4,6 years of his governorship, and he won reelection by a landslide. Parts of Michigan went bust when they lost the automobile industry. And they had gigantic pension liability.

              That state ain’t gonna save itself by cutting discretionary spending. He has to cut pensions, welfare, and other entitlement spending that are undoubtedly driving the state budget. And he won’t touch any of it.

              I repeat, states can’t kick the can down the road as often as the federal government. They can’t print their own money. Once they run out of money to fund their programs, they’ll have to face the music. If you spend money at a sustainable level, it becomes less of an issue.

              1. Dude, when oil falls off and your top line is impacted, you still have to manage the budget.

                You need to either replace that lost top line (yes, taxes as an example) or cut more programs. Jindal already had done the latter.

                So now here is Edwards saying, yeah I will cut even more programs, but that won’t be enough. We need some tax increase.

                Guess what? Even Republicans in Louisiana are accepting that reality. Go read the article Ceci posted from American Conservative.

                You’re defense of a Republican Governor guilty of malfeasance is touching. But expected.

                1. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 4:41PM|#
                  “Guess what? Even Republicans in Louisiana are accepting that reality. Go read the article Ceci posted from American Conservative.”
                  Guess what? We don’t care what repubs agree to, in case, as a fucking ignoramus, you haven’t noticed

                  “You’re defense of a Republican Governor guilty of malfeasance is touching. But expected.”
                  And you just invented a defense no one offered. Fucking ignorant, but expected.

              2. And oh by the way, bull that Jondal was doing fine early in his admin. The link I posted above from former Budget Director Winham says this:

                “Well, using the governor’s own budget documents, we see the surplus decreased by $790 million (from $865.7 million to $76 million) between FY 2007-2008 and FY 2008-2009. The subsequent statements show a deficit of $108 million at the end of the next fiscal year, and a deficit of $14 million the next year. The statement shows a zero balance the following year (FY 2011-2012).”

                Right from the gitgo of the Jindal tenure.

                You know, one could take all you libertarians claims that you care about fiscal responsibility more seriously if you would criticize a Republican when he deserves it. This article didn’t, and commenter after commenter didn’t. You’re phoneys.

                1. fuck off, joe

                2. Jackand Ace|2.13.16 @ 4:54PM|#
                  “You know, one could take all you libertarians claims that you care about fiscal responsibility more seriously if you would criticize a Republican when he deserves it. This article didn’t, and commenter after commenter didn’t. You’re phoneys.”

                  You know, you could take your straw man and jam it up your ass.
                  The story wasn’t *about* Jindal; you brought that strawman in the door from the ‘fucking ignoramus’ corridor with you.
                  Someone might compliment you by calling you a “phoney”, but I’d rather be honest and point out that you’re a fucking ignoramus along with being totally dishonest.
                  Fuck off, slaver.

  16. So it took him less than one and a half months to get a huge portion of the people of Louisiana to miss Bobby Jindal?

  17. Duh, LSU football CREATES revenue. Stop the war-on-drugs-gambling-sex, and relax…..

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