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Athletics: UL Lafayette students: What name controversy?

Claire Taylor, Daily Advertiser, Oct. 24, 2013

Several students interviewed this afternoon at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette don’t know about or don’t care about the current controversy over what the football team should be called.

The (Monroe) News-Star published a story this week chastising UL Lafayette’s athletics department for encouraging sports journalists to call the university Louisiana.

The story alleged UL Lafayette may be violating the state law that allowed for the two universities to change their names in 1999 from University of Southwestern Louisiana and Northeast Louisiana University.

The law allowed the universities to be called University of Louisiana as long as they included the geographic location of Lafayette or Monroe.

While the debate has prompted outrage among some fans and alumni at both universities, some UL Lafayette students are oblivious to the controversy.

UL students and twins Brian and Ryan Richard of Morgan City said they heard about the controversy.

“It doesn’t really matter,” Brian Richard said. “I know Monroe had a problem with us being referred to as Louisiana. I don’t think it’s a problem.”

Both universities represent Louisiana, he said.

“We’re two different universities,” Brian Richard said.

“And we’re the same,” his brother added.

Jeanie Nguyen of Lafayette said she watches the team play football on TV but has never attended a game. She believes UL’s success this season is the motivation behind the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s ire.

Kristina Guidry of New Iberia said both are universities in Louisiana and should be referred to that way.

“It’s not like we can be called something else,” she said, adding that she calls her school UL.