McNeese AD explains decision to not play the Cajuns

Sports

LAKE CHARLES, La. (Daily Advertiser) — For Heath Schroyer, the decision was not a difficult one.

As much of McNeese’s interim athletic director wanted the Cowboys to drive an hour-and-a-half or so east across Interstate 10 and be at Cajun Field on Sept. 5 — they were supposed to be UL’s season-opening opponent then — he simply could not justify it.

“The most important thing for me was the safety and health of our athletes,” Schroyer said, “and I just didn’t think … it was the right thing to do, to put our kids on a bus to go to Lafayette and play a game when it wasn’t safe enough to play two weeks later in a league game.

“To me,” added Schroyer, who also is McNeese’s head basketball coach, “that just doesn’t any sense.”

On Thursday the FCS Southland Conference said it would postpone all fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic that according to Johns Hopkins University has infected more than 5.2 million and filled more than 167,000 in the United States alone.

But it left open the option for its football teams to play non-conference games.

McNeese’s other scheduled non-conference opponent — Northern Colorado of the FCS Big Sky — had canceled anyway, leaving only one decision for the Cowboys to make.

And not long after the Southland went public, McNeese made it known it would bow out of the game against the Cajuns.

With that, UL lost a chance to face McNeese — which would have received a $225,000 payday for the appearance — for the 39th time in a series that dates back to 1951.

The two teams have not met since 2016, when UL won 30-22 at Cajun Field.

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