Lawmaker mulls cutting funding to pressure LSU after sexual assault scandals

One thing that legislators can do this session is to press LSU officials about the assault issue when they come up to the Capitol seeking money for the school.

Published: April 6, 2021

By: Kathleen Peppo, LSU Manship School News Service

BATON ROUGE, La. — The second-ranking Republican in the House said lawmakers may consider requiring university officials to be terminated if they fail to report allegations of sexual assault.

Tanner Magee, the speaker pro tempore, also said the Legislature will push LSU hard to improve its handling of the complaints as it seeks more funding from the state and from COVID-19 relief bills.

“There are a whole lot of things that are going to make it difficult for LSU to get what they want this year if they don’t take some better steps internally to address the problem,” Magee said in an interview.

“I’m deeply concerned, and I think part of the problem is that there seems to be a hesitancy within LSU’s administration to fully address it in a way that most legislators are comfortable with,” Magee said.

Magee, who is from Houma, made his comments in advance of a Senate hearing on Thursday on LSU’s mishandling of sexual assault and rape allegations against former football players and the university’s failure to adequately fund an office that investigates such complaints across the campus.

An outside law firm hired by LSU documented the failures, and its report prompted other universities to replace LSU’s former president, F. King Alexander, and former head football coach Les Miles. But LSU’s only disciplinary action was to temporarily suspend two athletic officials who had known about the allegations.

Many of the women in the Legislature have expressed concern about LSU’s handling of the problem, and other lawmakers have criticized the university as well.

Magee has three degrees from LSU and refers to his time there as one of the most “impactful” periods of his life.  

“Clearly, I’m concerned for the students who attend there,” he said. “Their safety and health should top priorities.”

Read more at 4WWL

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