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UL Lafayette walks back on Coach Napier's mandate for student-athlete donations

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Posted at 4:22 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 17:28:36-04

UL head football coach Billy Napier introduced the idea on Wednesday of having its scholarship football players donate a minimum of $50 a year to the Ragin' Cajun Athletic Foundation.

Today, UL is walking back on that mandate, according to The Advocate.

UL Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard said on Friday that the university is not mandating its players to make that donation. The donation is optional for all players.

Maggard said that while "Coach Napier's comments were well-intentioned," the purpose of the statement was to inform the players about the RCAF and to encourage them to become investors in the program in the future when they are earning a living of their own.

The option is available to student athletes to become investors now, but Maggard said the university "would never dictate to student-athletes how they must spend their scholarship money."

Maggard reiterated that the idea of Napier's comments were to inform students and to encourage them to give back to the university at some point in the future.

Coach Napier said Friday "what's out there publically doesn't reflect what's going on here."

Napier stated that he told his players that he thought the donations were a good idea and that it is an important idea.

"I know it came across maybe nationally as a mandatory requirement experience. Maybe I misspoke in the way I presented, and that's my fault but I do think it is something we'll continue to do," added Napier.

Maggard said that Napier is simply "very passionate about the university staying connected with student-athletes."

"By educating them not while they're here about the whole process and how all the resources they enjoy are funded, they will have a greater appreciation for it when they get older and are asked about becoming investors."

Read The Advocate's story here.