Covering Louisiana

Oct 25, 2012 12:51 PM by AP

Alleva apologizes about picture alteration

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The "Painted Posse" controversy has drawn an apology and a pledge from LSU.

In a letter posted on LSU's athletic website Wednesday. The Advocate reports Athletic Director Joe Alleva apologized for the decision to edit Christian crosses painted on a group of LSU students out of a recent promotional photo the university sent out.

The altered photo of the "Painted Posse," sent out after LSU's victory over South Carolina, made national headlines and has drawn widespread criticism for the school.

Each of the four young men in the photo had his body painted yellow, with a purple cross painted near the left shoulder. The crosses were edited out of the photo LSU distributed.

Alleva said the university would not attempt to edit photos in a similar fashion in the future.

Members of the Painted Posse issued a statement Tuesday asking that people wear crosses Nov. 3, the date of the LSU-Alabama game, though the statement does not specifically ask people to wear crosses to the game.

Alleva's letter also urges fans to arrive early on campus and to carpool when possible for the Alabama game, and that LSU will continue to fight for what is "best for LSU" in terms of football scheduling.

On Oct. 18, the Southeastern Conference released its 2013 football schedule, which for LSU includes a road game at Georgia and a home game against Florida, the Tigers' permanent East Division opponent. Meanwhile, Alabama - which is again likely to be LSU's chief rival in the SEC West - hosts Tennessee and plays at Kentucky, teams that are currently a combined 0-9 in conference play.

"We don't know what SEC scheduling will look like from 2014 and beyond," Alleva writes in the letter. "LSU will always fight for what is best for LSU, but ultimately we are but one vote among 14 in determining what is best for the SEC."

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