Louisiana governor urges schools to require athletes to attend national anthem or lose scholarships 

Jeff Landry makes comment after LSU women’s team missed anthem during NCAA tourney 

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry waded into the LSU women’s basketball team controversy on Tuesday, urging universities to require their athletes to attend the national anthem or risk losing scholarships.

“My mother coached women’s high school basketball during the height of desegregation,  no one has a greater respect for the sport and for Coach Mulkey. However, above respect for that game is a deeper respect for those that serve to protect us and unite us under one flag!” Landry wrote on X.

“It is time that all college boards, including Regent, put a policy in place that student athletes be present for the national anthem or risk their athletic scholarship! This is a matter of respect that all collegiate coaches should instill,” he added.

The LSU women’s basketball team missed the national anthem Monday night, staying in the locker room for preparations before the NCAA tournament’s Elite 8 game.

Head coach Kim Mulkey explained the defending champions were not protesting by missing the anthem but rather following their game preparation routine. LSU lost to Iowa.

“Honestly, I don't even know when the anthem was played,” Mulkey said. “We kind of have a routine when they're on the floor and they come off at the 12-minute mark. I don't know, we come in and we do our pregame stuff. I'm sorry, listen, that's nothing intentionally done."

Meanwhile,  LSU said in a statement that both the men's and women's basketball teams have stayed in the locker room during the national anthem for a long time, preparing for the game instead.

“Our basketball programs have not been on the court for the anthem for the last several seasons. Usually the anthem is played 12 minutes before the game when the team is in the locker room doing final preparations,” the school wrote on X.