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Wide-sweeping scheduling changes could help schools save money

Games against App State & Coastal in doubt
Posted at 7:21 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 23:57:52-04

LAFAYETTE — Lost finances from the coronavirus pandemic are hitting college athletics hard and teams and conferences are looking close at scheduling to save money.

"There is a chance we could not play Coastal and App [Appalachian State] this year, " said men's basketball coach Bob Marlin.

Bob Marlin says there is a proposal that could pit the Cajuns against rival ULM four times this season in an effort to limit cross-country trips, and Billy Napier said he wouldn't be surprised if the Cajuns didn't travel to Appalachian State this fall as changes are expected to come to the Sun Belt's scheduling.

"You've got lots of models being discussed," said Nappier, the Cajuns' football coach.

Football scheduling is a more fluid topic with no one knowing if or when a college football season could even happen. Still the changes are likely to be widespread across all sports.

"We're going to do what they tell us to do, and we're going to come up with the best plan we can come up with," Napier said. "We all have a certain responsibility to our fellow man to do our part relative to practicing what's recommended locally within our community and state, and nationally we have a certain level of integrity we need to operate with."

In basketball, Marlin said he hopes to see a finalized plan from the conference this week, ahead of its normal July release. Marlin said he isn't against models like the one that puts the Cajuns against the Warhawks four times, saying it's a similar to what was used when he coached at Pensacola Junior College.

"It's going to make it difficult to have a balanced schedule, and we talked about going to divisions too and playing 16 games, but that's not the answer either. This is a one year thing that we're going to have to make concessions to," he said.

As for non-conference scheduling, expect Louisiana to play that tight as well. Multiple games on road trips and more regional match-ups are likely adjustments.

"The regional aspect of scheduling will come back somewhat because of finances and the rivalries, and it makes perfect sense to do that," Marlin added.

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