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LSU board set to vote on contentious proposal to rename basketball court

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BATON ROUGE - LSU's Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to add hall of fame coach Sue Gunter's name to LSU's basketball court Friday, formally changing its name to the Dale Brown/Sue Gunter Court.

The decision came in spite of weeks of pushback from vocal members of the LSU sports community and even some high-profile figures in national sports media. Dissenters have argued the name change undermines former LSU coach Dale Brown, whom the court was named after less than two years ago. 

The court inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center went unnamed for decades before it was officially rebranded in late 2021.

Former basketball coach turned ESPN analyst Dick Vitale has been among those vocally opposing the name change, with Vitale claiming it's a move spurred by "ugly politics."

Pulitzer prize-winning author Jeffrey Marx sat down with 104.5 ESPN radio in Baton Rouge and After Further Review with Matt Moscona to discuss his findings on how this new vote came about. Marx says LSU system President William Tate asked Dale Brown to lunch and pitched the idea to Brown hoping he'd suggest adding Sue Gunter's name.

“That was pretty upsetting to Dale for numerous reasons but anyone who knows about Dale Brown knows that he is not going to get out there and polish his image, that's not how he does,” Marx said.

When that didn't work, they had to try another avenue. Marx reports the Governor invited five board members to the mansion for lunch. 

"The Governor told these five exactly what he wanted, which was to have Gunter's name added. Not everyone there was happy about that at all," he said.

During a press event in Lake Charles on Thursday, Edwards told USA Today, "I think the court is big enough for both names."

His office also sent us a statement, "The Governor believes the tremendous accomplishments by both coaches deserve to be acknowledged, and he appreciates the contributions they have made to the men's and women's basketball programs at LSU and to the state as a whole."

Gunter coached the Lady Tigers for more than two decades and was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000. Brown also coached the men's program for more than 20 years and is a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.  


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