LSU's New Football Facility is EVERYTHING Wrong With College Football
It's the latest example of what millions upon millions of wasted money buys in College Athletics.
LSU is not alone in spending obscene amounts of money on random, extravagant, over-the-top and arguably gaudy things to put in a new locker room and athletic facility. I mean if you are an upper level "Power 5" school, in the current era we now occupy--it's what you do.
But the Tigers are the latest example of misplaced priorities and over-the-top expenditures for athletes that could have gone to better use.
Over the weekend, LSU unveiled a $28 million expansion to its Football Facilities paid for by "Private Donations" to a school in dire need of facility upgrades----to pretty much the entire non-football related campus.
Let's put it this way: In a state in extreme debt as recently as a year ago (2018) and a University with the lowest funding per student by a state in their conference (The SEC), LSU boosters decided it was worth building an extreme monument to excess than help get university facilities and student funding up to a competitive level.
Listen, this is not totally a slam against LSU, they are far from the only Football School to build these kind of facilities. Not even close. Unfortunately, it's a slam against what "Power 5" College Football has become. It's no longer about having the best coaches and best teams, it's taking the obscene amount of money people are willing to give the Athletic Program and putting it to use in order to out-do the competition.
It's quite literally College Football's version of "Keeping up with the Joneses"....
And hey, the alumni, current players and fans love it. We're talking about facilities that cost more than a lower level Sun Belt teams football stadium, never mind the $28 million being somewhere near 7 times the football operating budget of a nearby school like say The University of Louisiana (Lafayette) only one hour to the west.
It's the world we now currently live in where the rich get richer and operate on different levels than everyone else and poor have to try and compete with them. I mean we're talking SEC Football here where each team gets roughly $50 million a year alone from their TV deal with ESPN. No, that money doesn't go to the Universities or the students or well, anyone outside the Athletic Departments. That TV money is more than the combined budgets of a 12 team conference like the Sun Belt. Yet Sun Belt teams like SEC teams are allegedly trying to compete for the same "College Football Playoff" title. Which is absurd and totally unfair.
Hey, I get it. I'm sure if you're an LSU alumnus or fan your saying "Why the hate?" And it's a legit question, I understand y'all are trying to keep up with the Alabama and Georgia's of the world or the Clemson's. I get that part. It's just the disparity that angers me and should anger most everyone.
That same $28 million could easily have solved a TON of facility problems on the Baton Rouge campus. That same $28 million could easily have gone towards a scholarship fund for kids in Louisiana who are smart enough to get into school at the University but don't have parents with the financial resources to do it. That's what bothers me about all of this. But I also realize in Sports, I'm in the minority with that thought process.
Like I said, I do understand why this facility was built. It's all about getting a "Recruiting Advantage". But why not take that money from the TV Payout? Why not take donor money and using it for something the entire campus can benefit from and take at least a little bit of the taxpayer load off funding the decaying campus?? That's the problem. That's the issue. If you have donors willing to fund such a palace of excess like this, why can't someone do something about a University operating on a budget they were working under some 25-years ago and fix that before worrying about a football team operating on a budget that more than pays for itself and could easily afford to subsidize this kind of project??
That's the question the people of Louisiana should be asking. But you and I know full well they aren't and they most definitely won't....