I’ll admit that I tuned out LSU’s football team this year. It’s not that I haven’t watched any of their games. I’ve looked at some. But I’m really not all that interested anymore, and that’s a big change for me. I’m about as passionate an LSU fan as there is…or at least I was.
But when John Bel Edwards’ collection of hacks and sycophants on the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to dump Gen. Troy Middleton’s name off the main campus library, I realized something that had been coming for some time with me.
Namely, that I no longer respected the institution. LSU, for me, no longer represents the best of what Louisiana has to offer. It’s just another social justice warrior factory running a scam on students and parents alike, providing degrees in lots of subjects which won’t prepare them for a real job in exchange for their agreement to be indoctrinated into an anti-American mindset.
And the scam is fueled, in large measure, by providing the public with semi-pro athletics. People insist that their tax dollars be lavished on LSU because they want the football team to be good.
If that wasn’t true, why do you think John Bel Edwards, who has done more to accelerate this decline than anybody else, threatened to kill college football if he didn’t get his giant tax increase at the beginning of his first term?
That LSU suffers from a colossal leadership vacuum is without question. It’s had an interim president, Tom Galligan, for eleven days shy of an entire year. In that time Galligan has been nothing short of a disaster.
The Middleton defenestration, which was done without so much as a discussion of the General’s actual role in Louisiana history – when LSU pulled his name off the library the university actually disregarded a man who had won a national award for promoting civil rights and racial harmony, because of one letter he wrote – was like a bomb going off among LSU’s donors.
It came after one scandal involving LSU boosters paying athletes, which the university self-reported to the NCAA. And it preceded another scandal, in which a pattern of athletes committing sexual assault against female students appears to have gone unaddressed for years.
Everybody knows why that pattern persisted. But according to Galligan, the answer is to conduct “Title IX training” of university employees and making sure all of these incidents are recorded.
If that isn’t a pristine example of feckless, bureaucratic leadership we’re not sure what is. If you want to end a culture of sexual abuse you do so by expelling students who are found to commit it.
Which LSU, despite years of hiring diversity coordinators, Title IX specialists and others whose jobs have been to push the latest academic psychobabble and scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo rather than enforcing the civilizational norms which were relatively effective in stigmatizing the kind of terrible behavior at issue, didn’t want to do. Why? Because some of those athletes were really, really good on the field. And because at least one of them was protected by a major booster and pal of the governor.
In the meantime the football program, which a year ago was wrapping up the finest season in LSU’s, or for that matter anybody else’s, history, has turned into a complete disgrace, and not just because Alabama just came into Tiger Stadium and left with a 55-17 laugher.
Its head coach got a divorce in the spring and allowed himself to be photographed, and the photos spread on the internet, in an intimate setting with a much younger female.
Whether as a result of that or simple coincidence, the team’s roster has suffered more attrition than at any time since World War II. The latest hit came Monday, when freshman tight end Arik Gilbert, the best player left on the team’s offense after wide receiver Terrence Marshall quit the team a week ago, said he’s considering leaving the school.
This amid reports that LSU’s athletic department has had an $80 million budget hole blown through it thanks to COVID-19 taking the fans out of the stadium.
It’s starting to become obvious that Ed Orgeron can’t survive this season, in which LSU is 3-5 on the way to 3-7. It’ll be the fastest fall from a national championship in the history of college athletics. Perhaps the silver lining of the sexual assault scandal is that it allows the university to fire Orgeron for cause rather than having to buy out his contract.
Given that LSU may be $80 million in the hole, these are small mercies. But buying out the contracts of the assistant coaches may be more than the athletic department can afford in its current weakened state.
Then there is the question of what coach would want to inherit the dumpster fire the program has become.
It’s more than just football, though. There is the issue of Baton Rouge businessman and booster Jim Bernhard and the contract to take over LSU’s utility plant, which has been fraught with controversy. Bernhard, who has been connected to the sexual assault scandal in that he served as a sponsor and guardian of Drake Davis, one of the athletes who had been alleged to brutalize a female student and get away with it, at least for a while, had put in a bid to run the utility plant while a nominee to the LSU Board of Supervisors. He subsequently turned that nomination down, and it ultimately went to Collis Temple, Jr., a longtime friend of Bernhard’s. Then the Board decided it would abandon its procurement process and negotiate directly with Bernhard’s company and another firm.
This comes on top of last year’s scandal, in which the charitable foundation benefiting Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge was apparently used as a front for paying LSU’s football players. The former head of that foundation pled guilty to elements of the scheme, and it was allowed to drop as a simple case of embezzlement though everyone in town knew something else was going on. He was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison.
Amid all this, what does LSU claim as positive developments on campus?
The LASAL Scholars program prepares Ogden Honors College students for leadership roles in Louisiana, particularly in the fields of public service, social justice, and environmental sustainability.
We are excited to welcome the 2020 LASAL Scholars!
— Ogden Honors College (@LSU_Honors) December 3, 2020
Forget about the sexual assault. We have social justice and environmental sustainability!
There are lots of these…
Access to healthy food and safe places to move around is not a given for everyone in #Louisiana. That’s why the @LSUAgCenter Healthy Communities initiative is working with communities across the state. #LSU #obesity #foodinsecurity
Read more:https://t.co/G6sHYLBMZX pic.twitter.com/hCVh1U3uWu
— LSU Research (@LSUResearch) November 4, 2020
Catch Sunday's Chargers-Broncos game? @CBSSports tabbed our alum, Mark Grant (right), as the telecast's director & Kimani Morales as producer. In the NFL's 101-year history, it was the 1st time a Black producer AND director led an NFL game telecast. We see you, Mark! #ManshipMade pic.twitter.com/sH8YwQvfPR
— Manship School (@ManshipSchool) November 4, 2020
A new grant from the U.S. Dept. of Justice helps @LSULawCenter establish the Wrongful Conviction Clinic: the first of its kind at a Louisiana law school where students will review cases to identify those that may benefit from DNA testing.
— LSU (@LSU) October 27, 2020
#LSU's success in targeted recruitment, mentoring and support of African Americans PhDs in chemistry is highlighted by @nature in "How to get more women and people of colour into graduate school — and keep them there" #FiercefortheFuture https://t.co/vdxoNKu1cn
— LSU News (@LSUNews) October 23, 2020
LSU architecture alum Ivan O'Garro was a part of the team that created the installation "Society's Cage" – an architectural comment on systemic racism displayed at the Washington, D.C. Mall. Read about the incredible project: https://t.co/Hged0MlAxG #architecture #BLM
— LSU Art + Design (@lsucoad) September 30, 2020
We could show more, but you get the picture.
Next spring, Galligan and other LSU officials will be running to the state legislature begging for a financial bailout due to COVID-19. LSU hasn’t cut tuition despite turning into an online university in many respects and offering an inferior academic product, so one might wonder how the university could need a cash infusion.
The hope is that before anyone commits to throwing more taxpayer funds into that institution, a detailed and quite hostile examination would be conducted. Woke LSU is terrible, and it either needs to be fixed or defunded.