LSU athletic director Scott Woodward said he is focused on building an elite program while speaking at a Rotary Club luncheon today.
“It was criminal what happened here in year’s past,” said Woodward as he referenced state budget cuts to higher education. Between 2008 and 2012, Louisiana cut more than $459 million, according to a report by the Center for American Progress.
A funds-transfer policy was enacted in 2012 which led to the LSU athletic department transferring millions of dollars to the school’s general fund.
“The department has given over $70 million dollars to the university in the past decade and it can not sustain, and it can not compete with teams in Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, Knoxville,” said Woodward.
The policy was enacted under former athletic director Joe Alleva in 2012, where athletics committed to provide $36 million over five years by transferring $7.2 million, plus a portion of its net surplus, to support LSU’s academic, research, public service and other missions.
It’s brutal at the top and we have to win championships, and continue to win them and win more.LSU Athletic Director, Scott Woodward
During Woodward’s presentation, he referenced ‘giants’ in the world of college athletics including Skip Bertman (who was in attendance), Nick Saban and Mike Krzyzewski.
Woodward said part of his plan to improve the program at LSU is to focus on recruiting talented coaches and support staff. “We’re pivoting a little bit,” said Woodward, “from doing bricks and mortars and trying to invest in human capital because that’s the name of the game.”
LSU recently unveiled the new ‘LSU Locker Room’ which sparked heated debate over a new sports facility at a time when the school’s main library is due for a renovation.
Woodward said that LSU’s general fund will receive $11 million this year from the athletics program.