LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – As the University of Louisiana decides to end its relationship with head Cajun Football coach, Mark Hudspeth, we take a look back at what may have led to this decision.
Aside from a losing record in each of the past 3 seasons (4-6 in 2015, 6-7 in 2016 5-7 in 2017), the Cajun Football team has had its share of off the field issues.
According to an NCAA investigation, in 2015 assistant football coach David Saunders violated NCAA rules by arranging fraudulent ACT scores for five prospects, among other wrongdoings, and denied his involvement; that resulted in the Cajun Football program vacating wins from the 2011-2014 seasons.
Since then, the program has struggled.
“Significant drop ticket sales and attendance, which created [a] residual decrease in revenue areas such as concessions, giving, parking, etc. As we know, such things can be detrimental to your brand when that occurs”, Athletic Director Dr. Bryan Maggard said at a news conference on Sunday.
Following the NCAA sanctions, the off-the-field issues continued for the Cajuns.
In 2016 a video surfaced of football players singing a song that some find offensive to president Donald Trump.
UL student Landon Northcott said, “He [Hudspeth] had not really been as great of a coach off the field which is just as big of a part as on the field.”
In April of 2017, a former Cajun Football player was accused and arrested for second-degree rape.
Three weeks later, 13 other football players were charged with criminal conspiracy to commit theft for breaking into a dorm room.
Maggard says the fore-mentioned off-the-field issues had “no bearing” on Hudspeth’s termination. Maggard blames a lack of production and declining revenue.
Austin Faciane and Ethan Landor are students at the university.
“I think that was an added aspect because if you go to a game, there’s not many people at the games and ticket sales make a big deal when you’re playing college football,” Faciane says
Landor says fans want to support a winning team. “Not everybody wants to come out when the team is not doing as good and performing the way that we want them to,” he explains.
At the end of the Hudspeth-era, Maggard says most people would agree that the former left the program in much better shape than it was in before, and they’re looking forward to the next chapter of Ragin Cajun Football.