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No college sports, a distant reality

11 months 6 days 15 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 February 12, 2016 8:29 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - University athletics are putting a lot of faith in state leaders to right the state budget gap. The state partially reinstated TOPS Friday, following a big scare to Louisiana students and their parents. Many in-state student athletes rely on TOPS.

LSU baseball head Coach Paul Mainieri says he's putting his trust in state lawmakers because the future of his team depends on what happens at the Capitol and the special session beginning Saturday.

"It would impact a lot of teams if the TOPS program is dissolved," Mainieri said. "I obviously hope that won't happen for a lot of reasons, not just the baseball team."

Education and health care are at risk when it comes to filling the state's budget gap. In Governor Edward's address Thursday he said, without legislators making moves in the upcoming special session, some campuses will be forced to make drastic changes, including layoffs and cancellation of classes.

Friday, TOPS, the tuition program for students from Louisiana, announced it will pay all but 20 percent of the costs and the universities would be responsible for making up that difference. How universities will cover that cost is unknown.

"I really don't know what the impact would be at this point," Mainieri said.

TOPS is safe for now, but next year is up in the air and it could affect the incoming recruitment class with fewer scholarships. Mainieri says he's focusing on the start of the season in a week.

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