Governor Clarifies LSU Football Status at News Conference
At a news conference in Baton Rouge Thursday, Governor John Bel Edwards seemed to reiterate that he has the authority to decide whether the Louisiana State University Tigers will play football in 2020.
Earlier this week, KEEL had contacted Mark Cooper, the Governor's Chief of Staff, and inquired whether Edwards would publicly endorse the football season of his state's major university, like Governor's Ron DeSantis of Florida and Bill Lee of Tennessee.
Cooper told KEEL that the Governor was currently in discussions with the LSU athletic department about their plan to play, then seemed to imply that Edwards has the final say about the Tigers season.
"Through his proclamation, he has identified what's allowable and what's not. We are,as far as number of cases, hospitalizations, etc., (going) to determine whether or not certain activities will be allowed."
Then, at Thursday's conference, the Governor had this to say:
"They (LSU) have told me all the things that they are thinking about, all the CDC guidelines that they are implementing, what that looks like on campus on game day...to get me up to speed on where they are. That plan would have to approved, they say, two to three weeks before that in order for them to be able to implement it. So, there's a little time left for them to refine a proposal and get it to me."
Edwards then talked more about the next few weeks for, not only football, but the university.
"This is true, not just for college football, but for everything we do in the state of Louisiana. Any decision that you make in early September about what's going to be in place on September 26 is a preliminary decision. Every day you continue to get new data...and you make refinements as additional data comes in. I just want to caution people that when you hear something at the beginning of September about what it's going to look like on LSU's campus or anywhere else for any other activity that's three weeks (in the future), understand that that is always subject to change."
The Governor also said that he expected to receive a plan from the LSU athletic department "in the next ten days or so."