Lafayette, LA (KADN) — Ragin’ Cajuns football coach Billy Napier has clarified his statement from Wednesday. Speaking off the cuff, he said it was mandatory for scholarship football players to donate at least fifty dollars to the Ragin Cajuns Athletic Fund (RCAF) and optional for walk-ons football players. Since then, in Friday’s press conference Napier clarified to say it was optional to donate.
The Athletic Department explained the players were excited to help the RCAF after a speech from new RCAF Director Lee De Leon. He had encouraged the players to be grateful for the people who funded their scholarships. Napier received some national criticism for the original statement. National media articles were skeptical of why poor college student-athletes should be required to give money back to multi-million-dollar university.
The Athletic department explained outsiders don’t understand the culture of gratitude they are trying to build. The Ragin’ Cajuns released the following statement:
“The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Department of Athletics is thrilled that head coach Billy Napier’s football program and its student-athletes expressed their collective desire to give back and show gratitude to the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation. Members of the football program have started an initiative to demonstrate their appreciation to the RCAF, including its board of directors, staff and investors, when they are able to do so.
Additionally, student-athletes will be encouraged to join the RCAF at the introductory level during their college careers, an initiative the program and its coaching staff supports in order to give back to the foundation that has done so much to support the Louisiana Football team and the Department of Athletics.”
Billy Napier’s team opens the season against Mississippi State on August 31st.