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Thread: Louisiana quietly drops Cayenne as 'official' mascot, remains as spirit leader

  1. #1

    Default Louisiana quietly drops Cayenne as 'official' mascot, remains as spirit leader

    THE QUESTION: Being an older USL (now the University of Louisiana) student during the early 1970s, I spent much of my time studying and working and had little time for extracurricular activities. However, I have memories of homecoming that stick with me. I remember observing a bulldog in red and white uniform holding up a sign that spoke of "Bulldog Tenacity" and "Intestinal Fortitude." Such beautiful terms! Does the current football program use that dog and its words during football/homecoming season?

    — Barbara Spencer, Lafayette

    THE ANSWER: The University of Louisiana currently does not have an official mascot, although there is still lots of team spirit, according to Aaron Martin, director of Communications and News Services.

    The bulldog was the school's mascot when the university was called the Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later, the University of Southwestern Louisiana. "Bulldogs" was also the nickname for its athletic teams.

    That began to change in 1963, when then-Coach Russ Faulkenberry gave the football team the new nickname, "Ragin' Cajuns." By the late 1970s, it had replaced "Bulldogs" as the team's nickname.

    Although there is no longer an official mascot, UL does have Cayenne, its spirit leader, to entertain the crowd with its antics.

    The tradition of promoting team spirit has a long history at UL.

    In the mid-1930s, SLI's first pep squad, the Red Jackets, was formed. The all-female group wore red jackets, white ascots, white pleated skirts and white gloves as they led cheers from the stands, while cheerleaders did the same from the field.

    The group was part of SLI and USL until the mid-1950s.

    Dance teams have also been part of the university's spirit team. The USL Sweethearts represented the school from 1960 to 1981. Today, it's the Ragin' Jazz who perform for halftime crowds.

    As to inspirational slogans, those have also been a part of the university's sports history.

    The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a revival of an old cheer, " Yay, rouge; yay, blanc; yay, Cajuns. Allons!"

    When the Ragin' Cajuns wore black jerseys in 2012, emblazoned on them were four words: Combattre (fight), Croire (believe), Fierté (pride) and Unité (unity).

    With Coach Mark Hudspeth came a new set of sayings to inspire team spirit. One of them, Martin said, is "Protect the house." Another is "Don't let go of the rope," or some variation on that theme.

    And as a reminder to the team, this year, the words, "Fight on," taken from the university's fight song, were posted on the locker room wall.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    Default Re: Louisiana quietly drops Cayenne as 'official' mascot, remains as spirit leader

    From my memory, Cayenne was never called a mascot, it was always a "spirit leader." (whatever that is)

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