LSU loses key student-athletes to the pros before these students complete four years of eligibility (not counting redshirt status). Have prospective recruits sign a pledge to give four full years to the Tigers in exchange for their publicly funded scholarships — stating that if they go pro before playing four full years for LSU, they must reimburse these taxpayer funds (either out of their upfront signing money — or the pro team should reimburse the taxpayers of Louisiana for using LSU as a farm team).

Although private donations provide big money for LSU athletic scholarships, many in-state student-athletes attend LSU courtesy of TOPS; not to mention the student activity fees that students and parents have to pay — all factors in the funding equation.

Student-athletes departing for the pros before their college eligibility is up deprives LSU of perhaps having a great next season as well.

Also true is that these young athletes should not be deprived of earning mega-bucks as soon as they can be drafted into the pros, lest they have an injury if they continue in their college program — fine; but taxpayers’ money should not subsidize the pros in this manner without due reimbursement of the TOPS/scholarship funds. (And the pros should not make their respective draft announcements until after the season’s respective College Football National Championship, CWS or NCAA Basketball Championship has concluded.)

Joe Townsend

oilfield employee

Baton Rouge