LSU football operations building file photo

File photo -- A tiger statue sits outside the LSU Football Operations building on LSU's campus. (Photo by Andrew Lopez, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

LSU revealed its newly renovated football operations and performance nutrition center on Sunday night, showcasing a project that cost nearly $28 million and includes a new, "first class" style locker room.

But in the 24 hours after the big reveal, athletes past and present took to social media to question and defend the renovations and its cost.

The project, paid for with private donations to the athletic department, includes the addition of nearly 25,000 square feet, with a new training room, offices, locker room, players lounge and cafeteria.

Questions on social media surfaced, wondering about the renovation of the football facility while also pointing out the shape of the university's library. The Chronicle of Higher Education published a story with the headline: "LSU Just Unveiled a $28-Million Football Facility. The Flood-Damaged Library Is Still ‘Decrepit.’"

LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann spotlighted one of the LSU football team's tweets from the newly renovated locker room, adding "Meanwhile, across campus, I vacuum my faculty office with a Dust Devil I bought at Walmart."

Mann, previously a columnist for The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, wrote a column in 2016 about LSU library's "decay," calling it a "symbol of Louisiana's misplaced priorities."

In a now-deleted response, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow replied to Mann: "Why, professor, do you feel entitled to the fruits of our labor?"

Joe Burrow, Robert Mann

Screenshot from a now-deleted Twitter exchange

Burrow wasn't the only football player who took to Twitter to defend the new facility and its cost.

Linebacker Michael Divinity chimed in, pointing out that the facility was funded by private donations.

"ATTENTION ALL LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND GRADUATE STUDENTS !!!!! The Money For Our New Facility Was A Private Donation From Members Of TAF And Football Alumni’s ! Thank You"

A second player, linebacker Patrick Queen, shared Divinity's response, adding: "Say it louder!! Crazy people from your own school can't stand to see us be happy for something we worked for and didn't cost a penny out of their pocket!"

At least one former LSU Tiger weighed in on the discussion, saying the renovations were not needed. Eric Reid, who currently plays for the Carolina Panthers, said LSU's previous locker room was "better than the current one in Carolina."

"But there's no money to compensate these young men for the revenue they bring to the school #justsaying," he added on Twitter.

"Dont u find it interesting that we can convince people 2 donate millions 2 renovate a facility that doesn't need renovating?" Reid said in another tweet. "How many scholarships could have been given with the money used 2 renovate?"

Among some of the flashiest parts of the project is is the locker room.

Each player has a dedicated space that looks more like a first-class pod on an airplane. Each pod has a chair that folds out into a bed, storage space, an iPad holder to watch film and more.

LSU sports news in your inbox

If you're a Tiger fan you won't want to miss this newsletter. Sign up today.

The renovation takes the place of the old center, which opened in 2005.

LSU announced Friday that there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility on Wednesday.

Fall camp begins Aug. 2.


See more social media responses below.