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Athletics: Farmer, Athletic Department moving to new office

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Aug. 3, 2016

UL athletic director Scott Farmer and other members of the Ragin’ Cajun athletic department staff are moving out of their offices at the Cox Communications Center on Wednesday and Thursday and into the Whittington House on Johnston Street, near Blackham Coliseum.

The Whittington House will serve as a temporary accommodation for the department, which needed to move because its longtime home — the Cox Communications Center on Reinhardt Drive in the UL athletic complex, near Cajun Field — will be demolished as part of the school’s $115 million athletic facilities masterplan.

Its anticipated new fulltime home, meanwhile, has not yet been built.

The Cox building, which previously housed the UL football team’s locker room and weight room in addition to athletic department offices, was to have come down by now to make way for an eventual open-air plaza area.

Its demolition, however, has been pushed back to about six months from now, Farmer said in an interview last week.

The reason: UL baseball coaches have moved their offices to the Cox building while a $16 million renovation project is under way at M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field.

The Tigue’s grandstand, press box and operations booth were demolished last week so work could begin there, and there currently is no electricity in the baseball offices or locker room.

Cajun baseball coaches, including head coach Tony Robichaux, are expected to return to their offices and players to the locker room sometime in 2017, perhaps in February or March, Farmer said.

Although the Cox building is still standing, members of UL’s sports information department will remain in their offices there.

It remains to be seen where the SID offices will be relocated to when the Cox building comes down, but according to Farmer it will not be the Whittington House because there’s no extra room there.

The athletic department’s permanent offices eventually will be located in a tower at Cajun Field, where a major renovation project is slated as part of the masterplan.

It remains to be seen, however, when that work will get underway.


On the heels of a Daily Advertiser story earlier this week regarding conference realignment, Farmer interviewed live Tuesday morning with 103.7 FM sports-talk radio host Dave Schultz.

Asked what conversations Farmer has had “about potentially moving from” the Sun Belt Conference, Farmer responded, “I think one of the questions you just asked (was) ‘Are we content staying in the Sun Belt?’”

“The answer to that question is no; we are always trying to better our athletics department and better our position, which means bettering our conference,” Farmer said. “I think Dr. Savoie (UL president Joseph Savoie) and myself have had open dialogue about this now for several years.

“I think in the last four (or) five years people have seen a great change in this athletic department, not just from our facilities but also our competition level, on the field, our academics … and budget … and so we are doing what we need to do day-in and day-out to advance the department.”


The Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation (RFAC), fundraising arm of the UL athletic department, is the midst of a series of town hall-style meetings to explain its reseating plan necessitated for the Cajun basketball team because of renovation work at the Cajundome and for the Cajun baseball team because of renovation work at The Tigue.

Farmer said those attending the town halls are being told season-ticket renewal forms for basketball will be sent out later this summer, and a similar process in the future will take place for baseball.

“In those renewals we have placed the ticketholder in the same proximity as their former seat,” Farmer said.

Exact locations may change, however, because new rows and more seats are being added at each venue.

Season-ticket holders will be sent both new and old seating blueprints as well, then will have a decision to make.

Options, according to Farmer, include: Pay and keep the newly assigned seats; pay, but explore options for other seats (at an assigned time/online or in person); and pay, explore and perhaps add more seats.

Some seats, Farmer said without being specific, will cost than last season