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LSU athletic director Scott Woodward on the field as LSU arrives before kickoff against Texas, Saturday, September 7, 2019, at Darrell K. Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.

LSU athletic director Scott Woodward joined a live town hall Thursday with The Advocate.

Woodward answered questions about the coronavirus pandemic, athletes returning to LSU's campus, nationwide protests of police brutality and much more.

See highlights of his comments below.

— Woodward said many LSU student-athletes are "hurting" in the wake of George Floyd's death during an arrest last week, which has sparked nationwide unrest and protests of police brutality. Woodward felt appalled by Floyd's death.

Woodward said he spoke to the LSU women's basketball team and members of the football about their feelings on racism and social injustice. He wants to turn those conversations into actions.

"The most important thing we can do is have empathy and compassion," Woodward said. "As white males, we have no idea what our African-American brethren are going through right now."

— Woodward said LSU will have a better idea of what football season looks like and whether or not it gets played sometime in July. He wants to gather as much information as possible before making decisions.

Woodward said LSU could utilize social distancing, temperature readings or disinfecting mists within Tiger Stadium this fall, but "it’s too early for me to tell you what best practices are because this is very new territory for us."

Woodward feels optimistic LSU will play this season and with fans in the stands. He compared having fans in the stands to driving 65 mph on the highway.

"We're willing to assume some risk, and I think fans are getting to that," Woodward said. "I think football is to the point to where fans really want that and will assume some risk."

— Though some schools around the country have cut their budgets and athletic programs amid the coronavirus pandemic, Woodward said, "I don’t need to make any draconian cuts, whether it’s to sports or personnel.... We're in a very healthy situation."

— On future football games, Woodward said LSU "would love to play Tulane," but he said Tulane wants a home-and-home series.

"It doesn’t make sense for us," Woodward said.

Woodward also said LSU has talked to Michigan about playing in the future. He hopes it will happen.

— LSU put up a recognition for the 2019 national championship team outside Tiger Stadium. It prepared another space, too — but not for the undefeated 1908 team, as some suspected.

"They’re preparing for the next national championship," Woodward said.


Email Wilson Alexander at walexander@theadvocate.com