Cajun Supporters Are Asking Questions

Cajun Redzone Publisher
Posted Nov 28, 2012


With the news of more Sun Belt defections to C-USA and the possibility of several others pending invitation, Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajun’s athletic program supporters are asking questions that the UL administration will eventually have to answer.

With conference realignment in full gear this week from the Big Ten’s decision to add Maryland and Rutgers, and the Big East moving quickly to invite Tulane and East Carolina to fill the void, questions abound. Of course conference movement continued to trickle-down to the Sun Belt with Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic scheduled to officially announce tomorrow they are moving to C-USA in 2014. With the pending announcement of both programs move, this will be the second raid on the Sun Belt Conference in less than a year with North Texas and Florida International accepting invitations earlier in 2012 from C-USA. With rumors of more movement with Western Kentucky as another possible C-USA entry, where does Louisiana stand? Ironically, it is the same question many of UL supporters were asking earlier this year.

Earlier in the year when Louisiana Tech, Florida International and North Texas received invitations from C-USA, UL athletic supporters were told that the university was not ready to make the facility or financial commitments at that time to request a membership. Supporters and Coaching staff’s were also told that all facility improvements would be put on hold to review and consolidate into a new Master Facility Plan for athletics to be revealed in the fall. The supposed new Master Plan is said to prioritize athletic facility improvements like a renovated athletic complex with a new weight room, team meeting room, recruiting room and new locker rooms; such projects would be viewed as a bridge to the next conference realignment for the UL program.

Unfortunately, the Master Plan has yet to be revealed and latest news has it possibly completed in January or February of 2013. In the meantime, Dr. Savoie and A.D. Scott Famer have stepped up to the plate in raising the salaries of Coach Hudspeth and the football staff to the highest level of the Sun Belt Conference. A new softball stadium was completed in 2011, the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility in 2007 and the new artificial turf at Cajun Field was installed in 2008, all before Coach Hudspeth’s tenure. The Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation was also created in 2009 and a number of smaller improvements have been made to the program since then, but no major football facility Improvements have been made since Coach Mark Hudspeth was hired.

Despite the recent lack of facility improvements or information forthcoming from the administration, UL supporters and donors have stepped up in record financial numbers. RCAF has received a large increase of donations over 2011 levels, season tickets holders are paying higher prices for reserved parking and premium tailgating spots and 2012 New Orleans Bowl tickets sales are said to be ahead of last year’s pace. After events over the last 48 hours, Cajun supporters are asking where is our plan for the future and are we paying for a bridge to nowhere?

In talking to a number of UL supporters at different levels today, fans seem to be divided into two camps; the first camp consisting of those that want to get out of the Sun Belt with their peers and not wait on more FCS programs to improve football and the second camp consisting of those that can live with staying put in the Sun Belt temporarily as long as facility improvements are began soon to help solicit a better conference in the near future. But both camps seem to come to the same conclusion, it is time for the administration to come out of the dark and speak publicly about the direction of the UL athletic program now and their financial support hinges upon the information shared with them at this time. If the administration wants to see support to RCAF continue, the sooner, the better.


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