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Athletics: Cajuns improvise training, academics due to coronavirus + photo gallery

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, April 4, 2020

Click below for the photo gallery of Life with a pandemic: Photos of Acadiana amid coronavirus pandemic

For so many around the country, the last few weeks have meant adjustment on multiple fronts.

The Ragin’ Cajuns are no exception.

From the way they learn to how they work out, UL student-athletes are doing things differently than their normal course due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Some of the changes may come easier than the rest, but it’s almost all new nonetheless.

“The one thing about kids nowadays: You don’t really have to worry about them working out,” Cajuns baseball coach Matt Deggs said in a telephone interview.

“That’s just part of who they are. … I think more than anything (the toughest thing) is figuring out this online stuff.”

Related: Deggs hopes his Cajuns can pick up where they left off

Ex-UL defensive lineman Karmichael Dunbar, now a Ragin'  Cajuns strength and conditioning staffer, sits during his Pro Day in the school's weight room, which currently is shut down due to the country's coronavirus pandemic.Buy Photo

Ex-UL defensive lineman Karmichael Dunbar, now a Ragin’ Cajuns strength and conditioning staffer, sits during his Pro Day in the school’s weight room, which currently is shut down due to the country’s coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Advertiser file photo)

Like so many colleges across the country, UL’s campus is shut down.

All coursework is now being conducted remotely, and Cajuns athletic director Bryant Maggard said a few days ago that it will stay that way for the remainder of the current semester.

Some back-and-forth that typically takes place between Cajun coaches and their athletes in a meeting room now is taking place virtually as well, and coaches are using group meeting apps like Zoom to plan for the future.


“It’s a tremendous change in a short amount of time for our students,” Sun Belt Conference commissioner Keith Gill said in a recent conference call on leaguewide-related coronavirus issues, “and that’s why we’ve really been trying to focus on ensuring that they get the proper support, whether that’s academically, whether that’s mentally for their mental health, and making sure we’re helping their physical well-being through access to rehab and training so we don’t adversely impact them even more with these extraordinary changes.”

More: Gill favors extra year of eligibility for all

Related: Cajuns athletic director Maggard’s world flipped by coronavirus