LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe answered by writing his own letter to the editor.
"My apologies to Mr. Purvis," O'Keefe began. "For leaving him with the impression that LSU is indifferent to the football event price impact on our supporters. Indeed, we are committed to supporting competitive academic and athletic programs, mindful that all our efforts must be affordable to the LSU family."
O'Keefe continued by saying "ticket prices are going up as a consequence of net cost increases after an exhaustive effort to pare expenses."
Costs of doing business in all areas of life and business have increased, but LSU is getting a bargain in head coach Les Miles, who is earning about half of what Nick Saban was pulling down prior to his defection to the Dolphins.
An appropriate move associated with the ticket price hike is to boost Miles' compensation by $1 million per year. Miles went 11-2 in his first season compared by an 8-4 mark for Saban in his rookie year at LSU. Miles has an 85-percent winning percentage at LSU compared to 75-percent for Saban in five years.
Miles directed a great recruiting effort this year. He is due a seven-figure pay hike with the unanimous approval of the LSU Board of Supervisors for a ticket increase. After all, the cost of doing business continues to rise.
Johnny Vaught died last week in
Vaught was the architect of the glory years of Ole Miss football, coaching the Rebels from 1947 to 1970 and again briefly in 1973. His tenure was marked by a bitter rivalry with LSU that started with Charlie Conerly and Y.A. Tittle and lasted until Archie Manning and Bert Jones were the quarterbacks for the Rebels and Tigers.
Vaught's time at
Vaught lost his last two
assignments against LSU by scores of 61-17 and 51-14, but he was 15-8-3 against
the Tigers and won five Sugar Bowls, including a 21-0 rout of LSU in the 1960
In the ten-year span from 1954-63, Vaught directed Ole Miss to a 90-13-4 record. Vaught's 1959, '60 and '62 teams were recognized as national champions by at least one rating system. His teams finished in the top five of every major poll from 1959 to 1963.
The grand old man never won more
than eight games in a season after the undefeated 1962 season. But Archie
Manning cost LSU a shot at the 1969 national title by rallying the Rebs from a
23-12 deficit to a 26-23 victory at
Vaught won ten games at Tiger
Stadium in his stay at Ole Miss. That's just one less victory in
When the Ole War Skule was pelted with anti-LSU propaganda from an unidentified airplane prior to the 1959 contest with the Rebels, Tiger fans were angry at Ole Miss partisans. Vaught noted that Tiger boss Paul Dietzel had been a fighter pilot in World War II.
Vaught only coached a handful of
African-American athletes in his tenure at Ole Miss. In the national
championship season of 1962, a mob of segregationists tried to block James
Meredith from becoming the first black student at the university. Vaught was
encouraged by President Kennedy in an attempt to avert bloodshed in
In a 2002 interview with the Oxford Eagle, Vaught recalled the turbulent times four decades earlier.
"I had a call from
Two people died, and hundreds were injured in the violence that erupted over a black man enrolling and entering Ole Miss.
In the championship season of 1962,
Ole Miss played only two games at its
Vaught coached another eight years