For a school that apparently has no money and is on the verge of bankruptcy, LSU surely seems to have enough for frivolous luxuries. In this case, it’s an $85 million lazy river in the shape of the school’s athletic logo.
Victor Skinner of EAG News reported the story on said investment, which would also include the revamping of the school’s cardio and fitness center, a sun deck, swimming and lap pools, tennis courts and other recreational areas.
The funding comes from “student recreation fee” that was approved in 2011. On top of this being an incredibly ostentatious amount of money spent on things just to make the university more attractive to recruits, even more ridiculous is some people’s justification of spending $85 million.
“The entire project will be used in recruiting and retaining students,” Laurie Braden, LSU’s director of recreation, told NOLA.com. “The impact of physical activity and play on the brain and students ability to learn is well documented by neuro-biologist and researcher John Ratey and Stuart Brown.”
“Being in a state of financial exigency means a university’s funding situation is so difficult that the viability of the entire institution is threatened,” NOLA reports. “The status makes it easier for public colleges to shut down programs and lay off tenured faculty, but it also tarnishes the school’s reputation, making it harder to recruit faculty and students.”
LSU is kind of desperate to add recruits, especially since the state of Louisiana is struggling to fund its public universities, but that’s not an excuse.
If money is that tight, maybe don’t pay head football coach Les Miles a whopping $4.3 million per year. Maybe cut salaries to the point where it’s easier for the state to fund the university, or maybe not spend nearly nine figures on something that will merely be window dressing to convince people to come to LSU and not improve the institution as a whole.
You know, try to convince faculty and recruits to come to Baton Rouge based on the university’s overall merits and not just because it has the fanciest toys out of all the schools!
Of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.