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Hold My Beer: Louisiana Lawmaker Makes Unexpected Case for Paying College Athletes

If Louisiana universities want to have "official beers" to avoid exploitation, perhaps they should stop exploiting student athletes, writes one lawmaker.
Photo by Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

"To be clear, there is just about no aspect of my life in which I am a teetotaler," wrote Louisiana state representative Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport midway through the least expected and most delightful argument for paying college athletes that you'll read this week.

Glover, who may or may not go hard on the weekends, wrote this in a public letter to LSU President Dr. King Alexander published by the Advocate . It came as a response to criticism by Alexander over a bill Glover proposed in the state legislature to ban partnerships between local breweries and Louisiana's public universities to produce "official beers" for the school's teams. LSU is one of two prominent universities—Louisiana-Layfette is the other—to partner with brewers to pay them to carry a signature beverage. House Bill 610 would also prevent LSU and ULL from renewing their existing contracts once they expire.


Alexander, loathe to miss out on that sweet, sudsy beer revenue, unsurprisingly thinks this is a terrible idea. Last week, he told the same paper that the bill is "nonsense," that Glover "likes to throw stones" and that Glover "has never been a fan of LSU." Alexander also made the hilarious argument that beer companies have been profiting off and using LSU colors in local ads without providing just compensation to the school.

Glover then responded with his own letter, the highlight of which is this:

LSU and other colleges have been and continue to rake in billions of dollars from the blood, sweat, broken bones, and dreams of youngsters who are not even old enough to legally buy beer. The universities' return is much higher than the tuition, room and board invested through scholarships. Yet these same young people cannot legally earn a single red cent from the tickets, television, tailgating and all the purple and gold paraphernalia that bears their names.

If logic leads Dr. Alexander to believe that LSU is currently being exploited and taken advantage of by the beer companies, then he should be honest enough to admit that colleges are doing the same thing to the underage youngsters who give their brands such high value and exposure in the first place, and then fight to justly compensate them in the same way he wants to cash in now.

Glover then proposes a 15-percent share of all revenue generated by college sports go to the athletes who "actually provide the sweat equity that makes it all possible."

Fuck yeah, Ced. You can read the letter in its entirety on the Advocate's website.