RCAF Annual Fund Benefits

The chart below highlights how the points system works, along with the benefits associated with different giving levels.
(To download a printable version of this chart, click here.)

RCAF Annual Funds Benefits Infographic

RCAF Annual Fund Members Priority Parking

Football

RCAF Parking Map Football

Basketball

RCAF Parking Map Basketball

RCAF Monthly Newsletter

April 2016

A Message from the RCAF Executive Director

This Saturday, April 16th, prior to the Spring Football game, RCAF will hold the first ever full-membership meeting. Several issues important to the organization will be discussed and this will be the first public unveiling of the Priority Points system to be implemented over the summer. This will be your opportunity to see the calculation of the Priority Points system, why it is necessary for implementation, how to figure your Point total, and more. We encourage you to ask questions at the conclusion of the presentation. This will take place from 9:30-11:30am at Angelle Hall on campus. Parking will be available in the two University parking lots surrounding E.K. Long across the street from Angelle Hall.

Following the meeting, starting at 12:00pm, we invite you to join us at Gate A at Cajun Field where the RCAF is partnering with Crawfish Time on Ridge Road, Richard Farms and Comtech Systems of Louisiana for a Crawfish Boil, with the proceeds benefiting the RCAF. For $20 you’ll enjoy 5lbs of crawfish and sides and know that your support is directly benefitting our Ragin’ Cajuns student-athletes.
9:30-11:30am: RCAF membership meeting @ Angelle Hall on campus (first unveiling of the new Priority Points system to be implemented this summer)
12:00-2:30pm: Crawfish Boil fundraiser @ Cajun Field benefitting RCAF
2:00pm: Spring Football Game Kickoff (Free Admission)
3:30pm – Ragin’ Cajuns Weekend, with live music, great food and more at Cajun Field.
If you cannot attend the meeting this Saturday, the RCAF will be traveling throughout Acadiana in the months of May and June conducting “Town Hall meetings” to educate fans on the upcoming Priority Points system. Be looking for the dates/times/locations to be announced soon. Also be looking for the roll-out of the newly designed RCAF website coming later this month. More information to follow in the coming weeks.

Whether you have questions about the upcoming Priority Points system or anything else RCAF related, please email your questions to RCAF@louisiana.edu. We will post the best questions, along with the answers, in the following month’s newsletter.

Thank you again for your continued generosity and support. If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to email or call. We hope that you renew your membership at your current level or, if possible, increase your contribution in an effort to help our student-athletes achieve greatness in the classroom and on the field. On behalf of the RCAF and the Board of Directors, thank you for your support!

Geaux Cajuns!

Jim F. Harris
RCAF Executive Director


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RCAF Donor Spotlight

The RCAF thanks Marc and Michelle Judice for their longtime support to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Marc serves on the RCAF Board of Directors. It does not matter what time of year it is, you will  find Marc and Michelle at an athletics event. They hold season tickets in Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Softball and make philanthropic donations to the RCAF. The family’s passion for the University has been passed down from generation-to-generation.

Why do you support the RCAF?
We live in Lafayette. Everyone who lives in Lafayette benefits from the University.

What is your favorite Ragin’ Cajuns memory?
The Texas A&M football victory is one of our favorite football memories. We also enjoyed watching Crystal George play softball for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

What does it mean to be a Ragin’ Cajun?
Being a Ragin’ Cajuns fan means having loyalty to the University. Loyalty in turn benefits our community as well.

Thank you, Marc and Michelle for your passion and support to the RCAF and Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics!


RCAF Staff Spotlight

Susan Breaux(right) and Kali Judice(left) play an important role for the RCAF, as they are responsible for donor records. Both are graduates of the University and love supporting the Athletics Department.

Susan
Why did you choose to attend UL?
I chose to attend USL because it was where everyone else in my family had gone.  My father graduated from SLI.  I graduated from USL, as well as my husband, Jay.  Both of our daughters, Jamie Hebert and Lauren Baer, and both of our son-in-laws, Tyler Hebert and Brett Baer, all graduated from UL.

What is your favorite Ragin’ Cajuns memory?
There are so many great memories, but my absolute favorite Ragin’ Cajuns memory has to be the 2011 New Orleans Bowl game.  With only 35 seconds remaining…..no time outs….the incredible sideline catches….culminating with the 50 yard game-winning field goal by Brett.  I still get goosebumps EVERY TIME I watch the replay of that unforgettable kick. It’s a season that will never be forgotten.

What do you enjoy most about working for the RCAF?
The people.  I really enjoy getting to know our donors.  We all have the same goal; supporting our student-athletes and coaching staffs, as well as improving our athletic facilities.

Kali
What is your favorite Ragin’ Cajuns memory?
My favorite Ragin’ Cajuns memory is the UL Softball team defeating No.1 Florida in the 2008 Women’s College World Series.

What do you enjoy most about working for the RCAF?
The thing I enjoy most about working for the RCAF is I get to work with great people and for the University I love and support.

Why did you choose to attend UL?
I chose to attend UL because I could have the college experience and still be close to home.  My family and I have always supported UL throughout the years. The University has great programs and a fun atmosphere.


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College athletes are being educated, not exploited

By Val Ackerman and Larry Scott

Val Ackerman is the commissioner of the Big East Conference and was the founding president of the Women’s National Basketball Association and a past president of USA Basketball. Larry Scott is commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference and former chairman and chief executive officer of the WTA Tour. The opinions expressed in this commentary are theirs.

(CNN)As March Madness ends with millions of Americans watching college basketball games, the values of intercollegiate athletics and higher education have never seemed more important.
As former college athletes who now coordinate athletic programs at universities ranging from as many as 40,000 undergraduate students at Arizona State University to as few as 4,000 students at Providence College, we can attest that hundreds of thousands of students across the country benefit enormously from playing sports.

We know that playing a sport in college teaches young people lessons that last a lifetime, such as time management, leadership skills and teamwork, along with how to handle winning and losing.

At a time when student debt is a major national issue, the men’s and women’s basketball players in our conferences don’t have to worry about oppressive financial obligations when they leave school.

They go to college on full scholarships, and when they graduate, most graduate debt-free. They receive cost of attendance benefits, meaning their day-to-day needs, such as food, housing, clothing, gas, and trips home, are covered. They also get high quality medical care, academic support and quality travel experiences, in some cases globally. By some measures, these students receive more in benefits than the average American makes in a year in income.

In fact, the 170,000 athletes who play Division I sports are the beneficiaries of the nation’s second largest college financial aid program, second only to the GI Bill. It’s privately funded, paid for largely by TV contracts that allow supporters from around the country to follow teams from the schools they love. We refer to the scholarships these students receive when they’re accepted to the colleges of their choice.

Importantly, many students who play sports are the first in their families to attend college, in large part thanks to the scholarships they receive. And if history is any guide, 67% of all Division I athletes will go on to become college graduates, a slightly higher graduation rate than that of their fellow students who do not play on NCAA sports teams.

These athletes also receive something even more important: they’re taught how to be successful in college and in life.

In recent years, however, critics of college sports have alleged that these students are exploited. The students should get a salary, the critics say, because their schools generate revenues from the TV contracts that carry certain college games.

Our critics see college sports as professional sports. It’s true that some men’s college basketball players play for only a year or two, and then go pro. Critics want people to think these athletes are the rule, not the exception.

But they are the exception, not the rule.

Of the 1,210 students who played Division I men’s basketball in 2013 (the latest year data is available), only 3.9% were drafted into the National Basketball Association.
The overwhelming majority of college students who play a sport know that college will be the last time they suit up and play competitively a game they’ve enjoyed since they were kids. They recognize that college is ultimately about getting a degree and getting ready for life long after their playing days are over.

They’re not exploited. They’re educated.

As executives who ran two different professional women’s sports organizations, we pay special attention to the impact college athletics have on the careers of women today. A recent study by the EY Women Athletes Business Network and espnW showed that the majority (52%) of top C-suite women business executives played a sport at the university level, compared to 39% of women at other management levels. Further, according to the Harvard Business Review, “Three out of four C-suite women executives said that [job] candidates’ involvement in sport influences their hiring decisions, because they believe people who have played sports make good professionals.”

College is a time for learning, and college sports provide young men and women alike a chance to learn, grow, graduate and achieve great things in life. College graduates make more in earnings than non-graduates, and for countless students, it’s athletics that give them the chance to get a degree and become successful.

We hope the day never arrives when students are paid salaries, turned into professionals because of lawsuits that disregard these critical principles. These are not professional athletes. They’re students. It’s that simple.

If the critics prevail, higher education will never be the same again. And that would be a march into madness.


Compliance Corner

Last month, the compliance corner outlined do’s and don’ts for providing transportation to current student-athletes. This month’s topic will focus on entertainment for current student-athletes and prospective student-athletes.

Q & A: Entertainment for Current Student-Athletes

Question:
I have extra tickets to a professional sporting event that I would like to give to a team to congratulate them on a fine season. Can I do this?

Answer:
Generally, no. However, NCAA regulations allow an institution to provide reasonable entertainment to a student-athlete or team during the declared playing season. For this to happen permissibly the booster would need to submit the entertainment to the RCAF through the Gift in Kind process, which UL Lafayette could then provide to the team. Check with the Compliance Office or the RCAF to ensure the activity is permissible to donate.

Question:
Am I allowed to provide a meal to a UL Lafayette team before the academic year is over?

Answer:
As a booster, you may host an occasional meal for a team under the following circumstances:
The meal must be provided in your home, on-campus, or at a facility regularly used for home competition. The meal may be catered, but it may not be held at an off-campus restaurant;
You may provide reasonable local transportation to student-athletes to attend the meal, but only if the meal is being held at your home; and
Approval for the meal must be granted beforehand by the Compliance Office.

Question:
I own a local restaurant/bar and want to have a night to celebrate UL Lafayette Athletics. Can I offer discounted food and drinks to UL Lafayette athletes only?

Answer:
No. The provision of discounted food and drink to only UL Lafayette athletes would constitute an extra benefit for student-athletes and is not permissible. You may, however, provide student-athletes with discounts that are available to the general student body.

Q & A: Entertainment for Prospective Student-Athletes

Question:
May I invite a prospective student-athlete and his/her family to an occasional meal that I am hosting?

Answer:
No. On- or off-campus contact with prospects or their family or friends may not take place until the prospect is in classes, even if he/she signs a National Letter of Intent or financial aid agreement to attend UL Lafayette.

Question:
A classmate of my child has just signed with UL Lafayette, and I would like to take him to a local booster club meeting and introduce him to my fellow UL Lafayette Athletics supporters. Is this allowed?

Answer:
No, it is not. Please remember that NCAA recruiting regulations still apply to a prospect, even after he or she signs a National Letter of Intent or financial aid agreement to attend UL Lafayette.

Last month, the compliance corner outlined do’s and don’ts for providing transportation to current student-athletes. This month’s topic will focus on entertainment for current student-athletes and prospective student-athletes.

Q & A: Entertainment for Current Student-Athletes

Question:
I have extra tickets to a professional sporting event that I would like to give to a team to congratulate them on a fine season. Can I do this?

Answer:
Generally, no. However, NCAA regulations allow an institution to provide reasonable entertainment to a student-athlete or team during the declared playing season. For this to happen permissibly the booster would need to submit the entertainment to the RCAF through the Gift in Kind process, which UL Lafayette could then provide to the team. Check with the Compliance Office or the RCAF to ensure the activity is permissible to donate.

Question:
Am I allowed to provide a meal to a UL Lafayette team before the academic year is over?

Answer:
As a booster, you may host an occasional meal for a team under the following circumstances:
The meal must be provided in your home, on-campus, or at a facility regularly used for home competition. The meal may be catered, but it may not be held at an off-campus restaurant;
You may provide reasonable local transportation to student-athletes to attend the meal, but only if the meal is being held at your home; and
Approval for the meal must be granted beforehand by the Compliance Office.

Question:
I own a local restaurant/bar and want to have a night to celebrate UL Lafayette Athletics. Can I offer discounted food and drinks to UL Lafayette athletes only?

Answer:
No. The provision of discounted food and drink to only UL Lafayette athletes would constitute an extra benefit for student-athletes and is not permissible. You may, however, provide student-athletes with discounts that are available to the general student body.

Q & A: Entertainment for Prospective Student-Athletes

Question:
May I invite a prospective student-athlete and his/her family to an occasional meal that I am hosting?

Answer:
No. On- or off-campus contact with prospects or their family or friends may not take place until the prospect is in classes, even if he/she signs a National Letter of Intent or financial aid agreement to attend UL Lafayette.

Question:
A classmate of my child has just signed with UL Lafayette, and I would like to take him to a local booster club meeting and introduce him to my fellow UL Lafayette Athletics supporters. Is this allowed?

Answer:
No, it is not. Please remember that NCAA recruiting regulations still apply to a prospect, even after he or she signs a National Letter of Intent or financial aid agreement to attend UL Lafayette.