Louisiana says players do not have to donate to athletic foundation
Louisiana football coach Billy Napier raised an uproar Wednesday when he said that scholarship players would be required to donate $50 a year to the Ragin’ Cajun Athletic Foundation, and the university’s athletic director is quickly walking his comments back.
Bryan Maggard said Friday that Napier was simply trying to raise awareness of the foundation and there would be no requirement, only encouragement.
“Coach Napier’s comments were well-intentioned,” Maggard said, via the Acadiana Advocate. “The purpose was to educate, inform and encourage our student-athletes about the RCAF, so when they grow up and start earning a living, they can become investors in the program.
“If a student-athlete decides to become an investor now, great, but the intention was never to make it mandatory. Whether it’s legal or illegal (according to the NCAA), we would never dictate to student-athletes how they must spend their scholarship money.”
Maggard added that part of the intention was to raise awareness of the program so athletes could contribute after they graduate, but he added that it would only be a small commitment now.
“Certainly no student-athlete has to do this, but if they do choose to start investing now, you’re talking about $2.10 a month,” Maggard said.
Maggard looks to be trying to calm a bit of a PR crisis. A coach asking unpaid players to contribute money to a school fund when schools and the NCAA are raking in millions isn’t a great look, especially contrasted with the growing chorus of sports figures who believe college athletes should at least see some compensation.