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Athletics: Maggard confirms UL has no plans to cut any sports

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 17, 2020

While some schools elsewhere in the country are cutting sports teams to address budget concerns, UL is not considering eliminating any of its intercollegiate programs, Ragin’ Cajuns athletic director Bryan Maggard said.

Akron of the MAC announced Thursday that is cutting its men’s golf and cross country and women’s tennis teams, and on Friday MAC-member Bowling Green announced it was eliminating its baseball program effective immediately “as part of a plan for a $2 million reduction to the operating budget of the intercollegiate athletics department.”

The MAC is one of the NCAA’s Group of Five Conferences for football, as is the Sun Belt Conference, to which UL belongs.

Asked by The Daily Advertiser on Friday if UL was planning anything similar, Maggard said, “No.”

That confirms what a UL spokesman told The Advertiser in late April.

Related: UL offers ticket refunds; no sport cuts or layoffs planned

UL athletic director Bryan Maggard said the school has no plans to eliminate any sports.Buy Photo

UL athletic director Bryan Maggard said the school has no plans to eliminate any sports. (Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)

UL sponsors football, basketball, baseball, softball, women's volleyball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track-and-field and cross country, men's golf and women's soccer.

The same spokesman said at the time that was not any discussion at UL about asking or requiring coaches and athletic department staffers to take pay cuts, or, as Boise State did last month, furloughing them.

But Maggard did not necessarily rule out that possibility Friday, but suggested if it did happen it would not be a department-only mandate.

 

Maggard also indicated that the Sun Belt is continuing to consider options that could have save money in the school year to come, chiefly by altering its scheduling plans.

More: Cajuns athletic director's world flipped by coronavirus

Universities nationwide are searching for ways to cut costs due to inevitable budget shortfalls caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which shut down college sports in mid-March and has the status of the 2020 football still very much in limbo.

“Any type of furlough (or) pay cut would be made at the campus level,” Maggard said, “and we would just follow suit if there were any directives in that regard.

“But from a cost containment standpoint, the conference has looked at other sport scheduling … to determine whether or not we can schedule a little bit more regionally within the conference.”

But Maggard said UL has no plans to alter its 2020 football schedule, which currently includes a Sept. 5 opener against McNeese, and he indicated that the Sun Belt has no intention to go to regional-only play for its conference football games.

“So it’s very possible that some of our sport programs (but not football) might go to divisional play only,” the athletic director said. “You might do two home-and-homes, and play teams twice, as opposed to having to put a team on a plane fly out to App and playing App and Coastal.

“Those things are being looked at.”

Sun Belt member Appalachian State is located in Boone, North  Carolina, and Coastal Carolina is situated in Conway, South Carolina.

UL basketball coach Bob Marlin previously said he would be in favor of going to regional play for 2020-21, saying, “this is a one-year event, hopefully, that we’re making some concessions to.” But Marlin also said then that “there were a couple schools that were against it.”

The Sun Belt has not yet announced scheduling plans for any of its 2020-21 sports.

More: Coronavirus impacts Cajuns' basketball scheduling plans

More: Safety trumps start of season for Cajuns coach Napier

More: Cajuns improvise training, academics due to coronavirus



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