The governor of Louisiana said he wasn't trying to use scare tactics during his televised address Thursday night, but you can bet LSU football fans were shaking in their shoes afterward.
Gov. John Bel Edwards told his statewide TV audience that there will be massive budget cuts if his proposed tax increases are not approved by legislators. And one of the many casualties would be his constituents' beloved Tigers.
"Without legislators approving new revenue this special session, some campuses will be forced to declare financial bankruptcy, which would include massive layoffs and the cancellation of classes," Edwards said.
"If you are a student attending one of these universities, it means that you will receive a grade of incomplete, many students will not be able to graduate and student athletes across the state at those schools will be ineligible to play next semester. That means you can say farewell to college football next fall."
According to the governor's speech, the state is $940 million in debt and that amount is expected to increase to $2 billion next year, deficits Edwards blamed on his predecessor, former Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The possible budget cuts would affect much more than education and athletics, Edwards said, with the healthcare system at risk of losing what he called "vital services."
"These are not scare tactics," he said. "This is reality -- an unstable state budget will not only hurt children and working families in our state, it will devastate communities, businesses and local government as well."