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.)