Mascot: UL taking time to 'get it right' with Cajuns mascot
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Aug. 17, 2017
With a new school year fast-approaching, UL plans to form a committee to decide whom — or what — the Ragin’ Cajuns’ future mascot will be.
Will it be Cayenne, the longtime UL spirit leader who in recent seasons has been living in exile?
Will it be a revival of some former school mascot, a list that includes Mr. Ragin’ Cajun and the Fabulous Cajun Chicken?
Or will it be a new creation?
Those are questions for the larger university community to answer, UL athletic director Bryan Maggard — new to the job this year — suggests.
But don’t expect that decision to come anytime soon.
Maggard said he believes that in “12-to-24 months … we should have some type of direction that we’re going on that.”
“The timeframe there — I think the institution, rightfully so, wants to get it right, do it the right way,” he said.
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Cayenne has been missing for a few seasons, with no new mascot or spirit leader entertaining fans in its place.
Amid suspicion it’s all part of a plan to introduce someone — or something — new, UL has cited the cost of buying new costumes for the character as one reason.
Some are convinced the larger-than-life hot pepper is gone for good.
Others aren’t so sure.
Either way the absence is not known by everyone outside of Louisiana, and even still not known by some within the campus community, evidenced by just how much attention Cayenne continues to receive.
Tim Buckley and Kevin Foote discuss the upcoming UL Ragin' Cajuns football season. They take a look at the defense and what fans should expect. David D'Aquin
Earlier this month, Sports Illustrated listed Cayenne No. 1 nationally in a story headlined “The Top 10 Mascots in College Football, Ranked by Someone Terrified of Mascots.”
Also this month, the website SBNation/Mid-Major Madness included Cayenne in its 64-team, bracket-style “Mascot Melee.”
Cayenne remains a contender in that mid-major tournament’s Sweet 16 round after knocking off a No. 1 seed, Alabama-Birmingham’s “Blaze.”
The UL spirit leader has been ranked in such internet lists — good and bad — for several years since its inception sometime around 2000.
But whether Cayenne lives to fight another season remains to be seen.
That’s a decision that will be made only after input from both inside and outside the UL athletic department.
“That will be more of an institutional decision that I think (the athletic department) will have a seat at the table at,” Maggard said. “Athletics will not drive it. It will be a campus decision.”
Related: Decisions must be made on new Cajuns