As Louisiana State University braces for a fifth round of state budget cuts in as many years, the LSU athletic department has donated $4 million to the school, as well as assumed the $1.5 million per year financial responsibility for the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes.
"It is important for Athletics to play a role in the central mission of a university, and LSU Athletics is in the unique position to provide this financial support in a time of budgetary need," LSU vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva said in a statement, as reported by WWL-TV in New Orleans.
Higher education state funding in Louisiana was cut by $66 million for the 2012-2013 budget year, according to the Associated Press. A total of $420 million has been cut from the budget since 2008.
Louisiana State athletics is among few athletic departments that manage to support the academic efforts of their universities. Said Alleva, "Only a handful of athletic departments in the nation operate using no state tax dollars and no student fees, but to be able to make a contribution of this magnitude is unique and a real credit to LSU's fans and alumni who support the Tigers and to the coaches and student-athletes whose commitment to excellence translates into continued success."