LSU Football may be eliminated unless Louisiana lawmakers accept a new package of tax increases proposed by Governor John Bel Edwards.

During a statewide televised speech on Thursday, Edwards said extreme action will be necessary to meet the state’s obligations if new taxes were not put in place within the next several months. These actions could include removing people from kidney dialysis and shutting down hospice services.

“The health care services that are in jeopardy literally mean the difference between life and death," Edwards said.

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LSU's next football season may be in jeopardy

In addition to health care services, funding for higher education will also be significantly affected. During the address, Edwards emphasized the need for the tax increase to keep many universities from being broke before the semester ends.

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In addition to what some claim is the biggest tax hike in Louisiana’s history, Edwards recommended several colleges declare bankruptcy, cut jobs and explore other areas to reduce costs.

Even LSU, the state’s most prosperous college, would run out of money by April 30 if the new tax package is not approved. Should this happen, LSU football is in danger of being cancelled as spring classes would be suspended and many college athletes would be disqualified from playing next season.

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Edwards stated that the threat of eliminating LSU football wasn’t meant as a scare tactic, but an attempt to be honest about the dire situation the state is facing. 

The LSU football program has been profitable for several years and is currently valued at $111 million, making it the fourth-most valuable in the U.S. However, the college itself has been struggling. Over the past five years, the athletic department has given the university $43.5 million to stay afloat.

A huge budget problem for Louisiana

According to the governor’s office, Louisiana has reached a $940 million budget deficient for the current year. The budget gap must be closed by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

Starting on July 1, the state will already be up against an immediate $2 billion shortfall for the next fiscal cycle. The tax increases and budget cuts proposed by Edwards will help eliminate the financial emergencies the state is facing both this year and next.

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While the cancellation of LSU football due to budget constraints is a worse-case scenario, it is a very real one. Should the Louisiana state government fail to act on the current financial crisis, the state’s huge deficient could legitimately close the doors on LSU and several essential state-funded programs.

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