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BATON ROUGE The Athletic Department for LSU is stepping in to help the university, donating $4 million to help ease the budget cuts that the university is facing, according to a statement from the university.

'It is important for Athletics to play a role in the central mission of a university, and LSU Athletics is in the unique position to provide this financial support in a time of budgetary need,' said Joe Alleva, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics.

The athletic department will also take on the financial responsibilty for the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes -- a $1.5 million annual responsibilty.

'Only a handful of athletic departments in the nation operate using no state tax dollars and no student fees, but to be able to make a contribution of this magnitude is unique and a real credit to LSU's fans and alumni who support the Tigers and to the coaches and student-athletes whose commitment to excellence translates into continued success,' said Alleva.

The university is bracing for another round of state budget cuts, as high education state funding was cut by $66 million for the 2012-2013 budget year, according to the Associated Press. It is the fifth time since 2008 higher education has seen budgets cuts -- a total of $420 million.

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