As Louisiana Ragin Cajuns head coach Billy Napier continues to try and mold his football team, the second-year coach is asking his players to do something quite unusual moving forward.
According to The Acadiana Advocate, Napier is strongly encouraging the scholarship athletes on the football team to donate $50 to the university’s “Ragin Cajuns Athletic Foundation”.
The university’s foundation is meant to help provide financial support for student-athletes across all sports on campus with money going towards the school’s increased tuition costs, improving the athletic facilities, increase the university’s recruiting budget and help develop a nutrition program.
While Napier’s comments that donations were mandatory for athletes on scholarships was later clarified, the head coach’s power and status will likely lead the young men to make their donations.
Walk-on members of the team will have the option to donate $50, but they could also feel pressured if they are among the few on their team to not donate.
Napier and the athletic department have argued that donating $50 will help scholarship athletes ‘understand the benefits that come with being a student-athlete’.
Encouraging people to donate to help others in difficult circumstances can be a great lesson to teach young people. However, student-athletes are often under intense pressure to perform already and have little means to financially support themselves.
Pushing them to donate some of the little money they have practically defeats the purpose of the RCAF’s mission to help student-athletes in the first place.