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LSU football appears to be safe from Louisiana budget crisis, for now

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Higher education cuts won't be as drastic as the worst-case scenario.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Louisiana's budget crisis is currently the worst in the nation, with a $900 million shortfall. For a while, that seemed to threaten LSU, and by extension, LSU football.

If money wasn't raised by the legislature, then LSU may have been forced to cancel classes, which would render LSU athletes ineligible by the NCAA. Governor John Bel Edwards first broached the issue, and less than two weeks ago, LSU president F. King Alexander reiterated how serious the situation was.

"I know a lot of people will say, 'Well, that's not going to happen,"' he said referring to the prospect of LSU football being hurt. "Well, that will happen if we don't have summer school. We'll only have half of our football team eligible."

However, it appears that football is safe for now. The Advocate reports that higher education in the state will still see an $86 million cut, which means layoffs and more hard times ahead of LSU, but the cut was reduced enough for schools to stay open.

LSU President F. King Alexander on Monday confirmed that the universities in his system would be able to stay open through the end of the year but that the cuts still could be severe.

"It's not the drastic scenario, but it's still really, really going to hurt," Alexander said. "It's going to be layoffs, all kinds of layoffs, and we might have to close an AgCenter station or two."

LSU and the rest of Louisiana higher education are not out of hot water yet, and this could happen again in the coming year. But for now, LSU football is safe.