NEW YORK — Joe Burrow now has his Heisman Trophy, setting his place among a very rare group of high-achieving LSU athletes.
Now, for plenty of LSU fans, a natural question arises: When does his statue go up outside Tiger Stadium? And when does his No. 9 get retired?
The answer to those questions is complicated, and it requires more of a process than just drawing up a poster that reads “Jeaux Burreaux is the greatest!”
At the moment, the school has announced no plans in place for a Burrow statue, or for doing anything with his number.
Here, according to LSU, are the criteria for having a statue erected, a number retired and induction into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame:
There are four athletic statues on LSU’s campus. They are for 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon; Naismith Hall of Fame basketball players Shaquille O’Neal and Bob Pettit; and former LSU baseball coach and athletic director Skip Bertman. A fifth statue for basketball Hall of Famer Pete Maravich is also planned.
To be considered for a statue at LSU, a student-athlete must have earned at least two varsity letters, at least 100 credit-hours and completed three full years of school, won his sport’s highest collegiate award, had significant accomplishments outside their LSU career, reflect well personally on LSU and have completed their career at LSU at least 10 years before nomination.
Burrow’s credit-hours from Ohio State, where he earned his undergraduate degree (he is a graduate student at LSU), would apply.
That last criteria would keep Burrow from receiving a statue until at least 2027 — 10 years after his graduation from Ohio State — though exceptions to the criteria can be considered. A statue would then have to go through an approvals process regarding campus-wide design and construction standards.
Jersey and number retirement
Retiring a jersey at LSU is one thing. Fourteen athletes and coaches have had their jerseys retired, including basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson), who will be honored in 2020.
There are three retired jerseys in football: Cannon’s No. 20, Jerry Stovall’s No. 21 and Tommy Casanova’s No. 37, all of which are commemorated in Tiger Stadium on the east upper deck façade.
Retiring a number is another matter. Cannon’s No. 20 is the only football number LSU has retired, along with Bertman (No. 15) in baseball and Maravich (23), Bob Pettit (50) and O’Neal (33) in basketball. A provision added to the LSU jersey retirement bylaws in 2007 said retiring a jersey going forward would not preclude it being worn by a future student-athlete.
However, it is possible an exception would be made in Burrow’s case.
Hall of Fame
LSU enshrines classes in its Athletic Hall of Fame every other year, having just inducted a new class in October. A person must have graduated at least three years before enshrinement. That means Burrow could theoretically get into the Hall of Fame in 2021, but it would possibly be 2023 or later.