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Days after locker room controversy, LSU says policy of athletics giving money to university is being 'reevaluated'

3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago Monday, July 29 2019 Jul 29, 2019 July 29, 2019 11:57 AM July 29, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE – LSU Athletics appears to be ending its prolific fund-transfer policy, which contributed nearly $50 million to the academic institution between 2012 and 2017, according to a report by an LSU sports beat magazine.

At first, new athletics director Scott Woodward implied in an interview with Tiger Rag that the policy will end but LSU clarified it is being reevaluated.

“...While I will always support the university in some form or fashion, we cannot sustain what we’re currently doing,” Woodward told Tiger Rag assistant editor Tyler Nunez.

“It’s something that’s very dangerous, when universities rely on recurring money, especially from an auxiliary like the athletic department,” he said.

Click HERE to read the entire report from Tiger Rag.

Nunez paraphrased the conversation in the report as: “Woodward confirmed his belief that it’s not the athletics department’s responsibility to bail a state school out.”

Tiger Rag reported the guaranteed contribution from 2012 to 2017 was initially expected to be $36 million - $14 million less than what the athletics department ended up giving.

It appeared Woodward called on donors to athletics to help fund university academics, too.

“...In both places [where Woodward worked previously, Texas A&M and Washington], on average they give 1.5 times more to the academic side. I’m sure that’s the case here,” he said.

“You can’t just bifurcate or trifurcate our donors as TAF donors or LSU Foundation Donors or Alumni Association donors or Ag donors or whatever kind of donors you want to put in. You get a cross in all sorts of ways. We feed off each other, and it’s a very healthy, positive thing.”

The comments come a week after social media erupted into controversy over the $28 million renovation of the football operations center – funded by private donors.

LSU President F. King Alexander said academic and athletic donors should be homogenized and not look at issues as "us against them."

“It’s a versus thing,” he told WBRZ last week about how either side perceives donations to the other departments. “We don’t need to go back and forth on this. We’ve got amazing new facilities coming on line on campus. This capital budget… we just put in $48 million for new capital facilities and renovations of existing facilities on campus,” he said.

In a statement Monday, LSU confirmed the fund-transfer policy was being reevaluated.

"As Scott made clear in the article, athletics will always support the university, but we want to find a way to do it that is sustainable for all of LSU. We are working with the university to do just that and any change would require the approval of the President and the Board of Supervisors," Robert Munson, Senior Associate Athletics Director said.

Though, Munson said the transfer policy for this year remains unchanged.

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Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz

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