ultoday.com recently had lunch with Gerald Hebert, fundraiser for Ragin' Cajuns athletics.

University of Louisiana, Ragin' Cajuns, Athletics, Fundraising, Gerald HebertWhat's going on with UL Athletics Fundraising?

One thing we've been working on for a while now is an athletes' lounge. We're building a huge lounge on the second floor of Earl K. Long Gymnasium, and we hope to have it finished by March. It's a badly needed facility, somewhere that the athletes can relax, talk, meet and support each other, and hang out and study with people who face the same intense time and performance pressures as they do. The center will have 5 or 6 computer stations, a plasma screen TV (generously donated by Charlie Moncla), a beautiful large table for studying, and brand new furniture and fixtures. It will be great for the athletes and it will also serve as a great recruiting tool.

University of Louisiana, Ragin' Cajuns, Earl K. Long, Athlete's LoungeWe've just raised $30,000 for tutors for athletes, and we're working on another $50,000. Tutors are desperately needed. Most people have no idea of the intensity of the athlete's schedule, and how hard it is to make classes, focus on practices and games, work out with bruises and strains in the afternoon, and then go back and study and do homework. Keeping athletes in college is critical to our competitiveness, and besides, education is what we're here to do.

For the Lamson Softball Complex, we're looking at several options to expand and/or otherwise improve the complex including expanded locker rooms & offices. Right over $400,000, and over half of that has already been donated by Dr. Jay Culotta and Mr. Robert Verde.

Dr. Authément has stepped up and made a commitment to put in all-weather artificial turf on Cajun Field, and really, it was his idea. The architects have come in to make measurements, and to lay out the design. The cost of that will be $800,000. The turf will have a sand inlay rather than rubber, which greatly reduces the heat factor.

We've had four meetings, and another one is coming up, we're moving very rapidly toward the creation of a foundation for Ragin' Cajun athletics. Members of the committee include John Bordelon, who is the Chair; Charlie Moncla, Ed Domingue, Dr. Jay Culotta, Robert Daigle, Rusty Cloutier, and Curis Hollinger.

Finally, I've recruited funding and other resources for new signage all around the UL Cox Athletics Facility, and all the chain link is being painted black, which makes a much better presentation to the public.

There are lot of other things in the works. I'll keep you posted.