Grambling State University suspended its search for a new athletic director over the weekend amid concerns about the state of Louisiana’s budget crisis.
State-funded institutions are clouded with such budget uncertainty that Grambling president Willie Larkin called off his school’s search for a new AD.
“I cannot in good conscience proceed with the search process,” Larkin wrote in a letter published over the weekend. “Because of the critical nature of the financial crisis in the State of Louisiana, we will delay our process until we can see a clear way forward.”
Grambling has not had a permanent athletic director since July 2014, when Aaron James was fired.
According to The News Star, Grambling’s interim athletic director Obadiah Simmons will continue in the role. Simmons has held the position since May 2015.
Last week, Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards gave a speech saying that if the state’s budget shortfall could not be dealt with by April 30, colleges and universities would be forced to close.
“I offer my sincerest of apologies to the Search and Screen Committee, the search firm and most of all, the candidates who placed their names in the pool of applicants for this coveted position,” wrote Larkin. “I also want to express my disappointment to the faculty, students, staff and alumni who were anticipating that we would be able to conclude with a successful search.”
“We will be monitoring changes in the economy, and when appropriate, we will revisit this matter as soon as possible,” Larkin wrote.