Partnerships between the University and the pro sports franchises will give students access to internships, career experiences and networking opportunities.
As part of a recently completed two-year NCAA investigation of its football program, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Department of Athletics will vacate 22 football games between 2011-14, including victories in the 2011 and 2013 New Orleans Bowl.
As a result of the NCAA Committee on Infractions’ ruling in January, the University must vacate all victories in which a student-athlete competed while ineligible during the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons, and vacate ineligible student-athletes’ statistics. All eligible student-athletes’ statistics will remain.
The Committee determined that a former assistant coach, acting alone, was involved in conduct that led to falsifying ACT scores of five prospective student-athletes. It imposed on the Ragin’ Cajuns football program the lowest level of penalties for Level I violations within the NCAA’s penalty structure. The University was not given a postseason ban.
“While it is disappointing to vacate these victories and championships, we finally put this chapter behind us and will continue to grow our championship football program,” Director of Athletics Scott Farmer said. “We stand behind the integrity and accomplishments of Coach Mark Hudspeth, members of his coaching staff and each of our student-athletes who played football during the Hudspeth era.”
The University worked closely with the NCAA to determine that eight victories will be vacated from the 2011 season, four from 2012, eight from 2013 and two from 2014, including New Orleans Bowl championships in 2011 and 2013, and the 2013 Sun Belt Conference championship.
“Our University strives to comply with NCAA standards and maintains a comprehensive rules compliance program. Our compliance staff has performed with great professionalism and vigilance. Also, the NCAA stated that UL Lafayette’s ‘exemplary cooperation in this case was a model for the kind of relationship and cooperation member institutions should strive for in the infractions process,’” Farmer said.
The Committee noted that while the University likely could not have stopped the concealed activities of the former assistant coach, ultimately, the University is responsible for its employees’ actions.
“Since Coach Hudspeth’s arrival in 2011, the football staff and student-athletes have shown their dedication to winning through their hard work and indomitable spirit. Although games were vacated due to the actions of one person, our fans, student-athletes and coaches will remember the excitement and pride they felt.
“We appreciate all of our fans’ support and together we will fight on,” Farmer said.