University of Louisiana - Lafayette coach 'encourages' players to donate

Ruben Hill
August 18, 2019

That's more than enough for Napier.

Wednesday, RCAF (Ragin' Cajun Athletic Foundation) executive director and Deputy AD Lee De Leon gave a presentation to the team.

Maggard added that part of the intention was to raise awareness of the program so athletes could contribute after they graduate, but he added that it would only be a small commitment now. Are scholarship players truly only being encouraged to donate to the school's athletic foundation, or does "encouraged" in this case mean "required"?

A school spokesman said every member of the coaching staff has already become a booster club member.

Napier noted the new initiative included his scholarship players donating to the RCAF at the minimum annual level of $50 a year. "We don't look at it as a negative at all, what we're trying to do here, which is helping our kids understand the need to serve others, and hopefully down the road, they will be able to do the same".

The urging to join the club at a price comes at a time when schools are under increased scrutiny about the current amateur model in which players can not be compensated with cash or other outside benefits in return for their services, name or likeness. Several members of the U.S. Congress have voiced concerns about the amateur model and pushed for reforms, including paying players as employees.

"It was a really good morning", said Napier after De Leon's presentation.

Napier's heart appears to be in the right place as he had the scholarship fund make a presentation to the team this week. "They appreciate what others have done for them and the way this community has invested in them".

Somehow the conversation about student-athletes - which, by the way, was a phrase coined by the NCAA as part of a legal ploy to avoid having to pay workmen's comp claims - getting paid for their name, image and likeness, or simply at a level commensurate with their market value, has swung so far in the other direction, at least at one school, that student-athletes are now being encouraged to pay their school. For players not on scholarship, the rule is "optional".

"That's probably a little bit unheard of and a little bit unique, but I think this is a place where that would be appreciated", Napier told The Advocate. "So this scenario that people are drawing up where there's going to be players that can't come up with $4.25 a month. that's not realistic".

Louisiana Lafayette's athletic fundraising was the last thing head coach Billy Napier expected to talk about with reporters two weeks before the first game of the season.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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