Les Miles is silent on higher ed cuts, but LSU AD Joe Alleva is speaking out

By Robert Mann

Surely, LSU head football coach Les Miles is worried that if his school does not survive the current legislative session, his football team goes down with it. If Miles does know this and is alarmed, you’d never know it. Reportedly close to Gov. Bobby Jindal, the coach has not yet spoken publicly about the danger the proposed budget cuts pose to LSU, in general, and his fall football program, in particular.

Student organizers of Thursday’s march on the state Capitol tried, but failed, to get Miles to join them in their march. Perhaps Jindal has advised Miles to stay home or has assured him there’s nothing to worry about. Whatever the case — misplaced loyalty to Jindal or complacency– that apathy has not affected LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva.

After a Tiger Athletic Foundation event on Tuesday in Lafayette, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported primarily on remarks about the LSU football team made by new defensive line coach Ed Ogeron. Buried at the bottom of the story, however, was this interesting passage:

But it wasn’t just athletic funding. Alleva took a moment at the end of his speaking time to align himself with LSU president F. King Alexander on the university’s need for funding to stay relevant academically.

The biggest opponent LSU faces is funding for higher education, Alleva said.

Alleva said the state’s current shortfalls in higher education funding hurts athletics just as it does the general student population. Players, just like the rest of the student body, could look elsewhere if the course work available to them isn’t up to par.

Alleva encouraged those in attendance to contact their legislators with their disapproval.

“Our concern is not Alabama or Texas A&M, it’s funding,” Alleva said. “Anyone concerned about higher education should feel the same way.”

After I tweeted something about Alleva’s remarks on Wednesday night, Tiger Rag editor Cody Worsham informed me of additional, stronger remarks by Alleva on Wednesday.

— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) April 30, 2015

Screenshot 2015-04-30 08.40.28

Clearly, Alleva is concerned enough about LSU’s budget to speak out. Les Miles is not.

Despite Alleva’s warnings, no official with LSU has yet stated the obvious: If LSU declares financial exigency and cannot open for classes in the fall, the NCAA and the SEC may not permit the school to field its football team. After all, despite the views of many fans, LSU is a school with a football team, not the other way around.

LSU President F. King Alexander and others might sound the alarms about the dangers these proposed cuts pose to LSU and the state. Sadly, however, it may take Alleva, Miles and coaches from other Louisiana universities to truly capture the attention of state leaders and persuade them to muster the courage to do their jobs.

Isn’t it time we finally heard from Miles? We all know he’s not much on offense, but it’s way past time for him to get into the game.

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12 Responses to Les Miles is silent on higher ed cuts, but LSU AD Joe Alleva is speaking out

  1. jimmayer@cox.net says:

    WHY NOT FORM A GROUP TO BUY ADS IN NEWSPAPERS HAVING PRIMARIES “AMERICA THIS IS THE REAL GOVONOR JINDAL “STORY “THE DISTRUCTION OF HIGHER& LOWER EDUCATION &HEALTH CARE, AND THE FINANCIAL RUIN OF THE STATE IN LOUISIANA WITH HIM AS GOVERNOR. THE LOSS IS GREATER THAN THE 1 FOOTBALL FIELD OF LAND LOST HOURLY TO COSTAL EROSION IN LOUISIANA. COUNT ON ME TO DONATE. JIM MAYER

    Sent from Windows Mail

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  2. john smith says:

    Because Les Miles has a degree in public accounting and real experience in Public Policy? Is Les Miles running for Governor?
    Stop it, Just stop it. What do you want next, Ed Orgeron to come out and comment on possibly amending the State Constitution or Andy Cannizaro to comment on the medicaid expansion?

    University Leaders, State Representatives and the Governor can all shoulder equal blame.

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    • Robert Mann says:

      I tell you what I’d like: for Les to demonstrate he cares as much about the university as his beloved football program that’s made him a very wealthy man.

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    • Gene Sands says:

      Stop what, John? What blame are you placing on the university leaders? Specific examples,not just your broad accusations. Have you ever been a university leader? I have and know first-hand of how we spent our days trying to convince our fellow citizens how important LSU is to the success of our state, I’m interested in hearing what you’ve done. What part of he blame have you accepted?

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  3. If Alleva and others think that by contacting our legislator we can turn the current course of events he and all the others are sadly mistaken. Maybe his calls are returned. Maybe his concerns are considered due to his position and friendly favors he can dole out to house and senate members but I can assure him the obvious, I’m not him. My calls and concerns have not been returned or answered. I do applaud Mr. Alleva’s rather anemic efforts to rally fans late in the fourth quarter but it’s too little too late. Where was his public outrage when years of cuts occurred? I’ve written to my unresponsive representatives and have heard nothing back. But then again I don’t hold the key to luxury sky boxes.
    I hope to see Mr.Alleva at today’s march on the capital.

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  4. Andrew Sluyter says:

    Another potential victim of such massive cuts would be the LSU Lab School/U-High, where the governor’s kids go to school. Just like LSU is a university with a great football team, it’s a university with a great K-12 school (which also has a great football team, by the way). U-High is part of LSU’s College of Human Sciences and Education. Furloughs would impact it as well. Or would they?

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    • I’m a Cub. I loved my time there in the ’70s-’80s. You are correct in your assertions when you sincerely say cuts will infect every part of the university sick body. When I was there David Edwards was enrolled. Later Buddy Boys were wearing the Black and Gold. Now Jr. Jindal’s walk the halls. How embarrassing that must be for them. Anyway these days UHigh is close to being a private school. It would not be difficult for them to go all in but that is not a viable option for the head and heart of LSU. All I can say is stay strong and maybe something will kill the hidious bug before it take the host down.

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      • Andrew Sluyter says:

        You are lucky to be a U-High alum. My kids go there, and I think it’s a wonderful school. I hope the kids get to stay out of the politics as much as possible and also that the impact on the Lab School will be minimal because as a public school it does receive direct support for K-12, has a thriving fundraising foundation, and so on. But just like for Tiger Football, as Bob Mann points out, it is not going to be totally isolated from cuts as large as currently projected. I don’t think the cuts will destroy either football or the Lab School, but both of them (not to mention many other parts of LSU) are used to striving for excellence. And excellence is tough enough to achieve under the best of circumstances. These are not them.

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  5. Fredster says:

    FWIW, haven’t heard anything from Paul Mainieri either. He’s coaching the current #1 in college baseball. Perhaps Alleva told them he would speak as A.D. for the entire athletic dept. Just something that crossed my mind.

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  6. Patrick Robinson says:

    It has to be hard on many of those individuals who count Bobby Jindal as a personal friend. Many would probably attempt to defend Jindal by telling you that you don’t know the REAL Bobby Jindal, but they are wrong. By his actions, Bobby Jindal has defined who he REALLY is! Furthermore, these actions can’t be excused as, “That is what all politicians do, but Bobby is REALLY a nice person!” Many politicians are guilty of putting forth a false persona when in public, however few have reached the level of hypocrisy Jindal has repeatedly exhibited. But even more disturbing is the fact that Jindal apparently lacks any empathy toward the people he is hurting. If Jindal truly cared for our citizens, he would be in Baton Rouge during the ENTIRE Legislative Session working with Legislators on what they CAN DO to fix Healthcare, Higher Education, and the State Budget! Instead, he only tells them what they CANT DO! If that is the kind of person you choose to remain friends with, then that tells a lot about who you REALLY are!

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  7. charliellandell says:

    What’s remarkable is that flagship can declare bankruptcy, but its students cannot do the same with their student loans. Why does one institution get that kind of relief to start over, but students cannot get the same?

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