LSU, Kim Mulkey Scolded by Governor After National Anthem Absence

Kim Mulkey

Getty LSU Coach Kim Mulkey Paces the Court during a game.

LSU coach Kim Mulkey faced criticism for failing to have her team on the court for the national anthem before the Tigers’ 94-87 loss to Caitlin Clark‘s Iowa Hawkeyes in the Elite Eight on April 1.

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry made his anger known in a post on X.

“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,” Landry wrote. “However, above respect for that game is a deeper respect for those that serve to protect us and unite us under one flag!

“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.”

Landry didn’t mention Mulkey by name, but it’s clear the post was in response to her team’s tardiness before the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Who Is Jeff Landry’s Basketball Coach Mother?

According to the 2019 obituary for the governor’s mother, Edna Bienvenu Landry, she played on the “girls basketball team” at the University of Southwest Louisiana (now called the University of Louisiana at Lafayette), where she attended from 1966 to 1970.

After college, Landry became a girls’ physical education teacher at Loreauville High School in Loreauville, Louisiana. While there, she decided to start a girls’ basketball team from scratch.

Her team won just one game in its first year. Yet Landry led the same team of girls to the Louisiana state quarterfinals during their senior year.

In his January 7, 2024, inauguration speech, Jeff Landry described his mother’s determination and leadership.

“At that time, women’s sports was aspirational at best — second class at worst. She was the only female coach, but she was undeterred,” Landry said. “She fought for court time for her girls, many of whom had never touched a basketball.

“But her instinct told her that if she taught these girls the value of teamwork and commitment it would provide a foundation to succeed in life,” he said. “From nothing to something, from seemingly an utter failure, those girls created a program that would earn the district title and a playoff berth in just four short years.”

Kim Mulkey Claims LSU’s National Anthem Absence Wasn’t Intentional

Reporters questioned Mulkey about her team missing the national anthem after their Elite Eight loss to Iowa.

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played,” she said. “We kind of have a routine where we are on the floor and then they come off at the 12-minute mark; I don’t know. We come in, and we do our pregame stuff. Sorry. Listen, that’s nothing intentionally done.”

Iowa was on the court for the anthem, but in the other April 1 Elite Eight matchup, between Connecticut and Southern California, neither team was on the court for the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” according to

According to a 2018 ESPN story, the NCAA does not have bylaws regarding the anthem. “Student-athletes are expected to follow sport-specific tournament policies,” said NCAA associate director of public and media relations Gail Dent, according to the story.