If you thought the threat of college football in Louisiana being shutdown was an idle threat, well, you’re more than likely right. The ongoing budget crisis in Louisiana may not actually prevent LSU or other college football programs in the state from playing football this fall, but it has led to one high school recruit stepping back from a commitment to Louisiana Tech.
Johnathan Jones, in a message posted to his Twitter account on Monday, announced he was decommitting from Louisiana Tech due to “recent political events.” When asked what those recent political events were, Jones told The Times-Picayune in New Orleans he was referring to the situation regarding state-funded universities that last week resulted in the shutting down of TOPS payments.
In an extreme situation, this could have a widespread impact on the NCAA eligibility status for student-athletes in the state of Louisiana, although that could be quite an extreme worst-case scenario that never truly comes close to developing. But the option is there to be evaluated and weighed at a critical time for a number of college hopefuls with athletic skill.
I want to thank the la tech family for everything they've done and as of now I have re-opened my recruitment. pic.twitter.com/QbLFF5ZnR8
— Johnathan Jones (@johnathan_81) February 15, 2016
As noted in his message, Jones is not shutting the door on Louisiana Tech, and he may even end up with the Bulldogs anyway when all is said and done. In fact, he is taking a fairly mature route with his college decision-making process by taking into account all the variables at play with plenty of time left before having to make his decision final a year from now.
It will be interesting to see if any other recruits use this financial crisis in the state as a reason for altering their current recruiting outlook, but once again, there is plenty of time before having to make any final decisions and it is not at all likely this budget issue will actually force football to shut down in the state (at least at the FBS level; lower levels could be a different story).
Jones is a three-star wide receiver according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. The Shreveport native has been committed to Louisiana Tech since early November.