Louisiana House Bill 971: An Exercise in Stupidity – From the Bird’s Nest
Fans of the Ragin' Cajuns, Louisiana Tech, McNeese, UL Monroe and the rest fight like crazy whether it's about competition on the athletic field, who gets to call themselves what and which program is best in the state after LSU.
But the fans usually agree on one thing: When LSU gets a chance to screw the little guy, they jump on it. And, there are going to be some that will insist that's the motivation behind House Bill 971, filed by Rep. Stephen Carter (R-Baton Rouge).
The bill would restrict travel in athletic competition for all regular season sports except football and basketball to a radius of 375 miles. The law would apply to any school that receives state funds used for athletics.
In other words, everyone except LSU.
Honestly, I thought I was late to the April Fools' table when I first heard about it. But here it is. (click)
I first found out from the website latechreport.com that this isn't a joke. Well, it's a joke, but at least one legislator is serious about the matter. And, to cap it off, he's a member of the House Education Committee. That's right, boys and girls, this man is involved in shaping education in our state.
It should be noted the three term State Representative is a former tennis coach and assistant athletic director at LSU.
I'm sure the budget crisis in the state is the "official" impetus of the bill. It would, in theory, force state universities to drastically reduce the subsidies they give for athletics. But, forgive fans of the schools affected if they simply see it as another way to make sure no one ever challenges LSU's superiority in any sport.
After all, the Cajuns' baseball team had a chance to beat the Tigers to get to Omaha last spring. And, Cajuns' softball is ranked in the top five in the nation. I mean, we can't have that, right??
The bill, if it would pass, would basically end the affiliation of all state schools with their respective conferences (Conference USA, Sun Belt, Southland) and basically force them to play against each other. Clever, eh?
Now, anyone with any common sense will think this bill will die in committee. In fact, many wouldn't be surprised if the bill is withdrawn. But before you think intelligence will prevail, take a look at some laws the legislature has pushed through in the past.
At the end of the day, this bill is just more proof Forrest Gump was right. "Stupid is as Stupid does."
This is so silly, even Mike the Tiger is pointing and laughing at Rep. Carter.