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Thread: 2003: Cajundome conflict means UL will have to play away.

  1. #1

    UL Basketball ANOTHER Cajundome conflict means UL will have to play away.

    Krewe rolls over Cajuns' chance for ESPN game on home court

    LOUISIANA La. The good news is Louisiana's men's basketball team will get the chance to showcase its talent in a college basketball extravaganza on Feb. 21.

    But a Mardi Gras krewe has the home court advantage on that date at the Cajundome, officials said, and barring some major reshuffling of schedules, the Cajuns will have to play away from home.

    ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference announced Tuesday that UL's men's basketball squad is one of the 46 premier teams in the country chosen to participate in this year's ESPN Bracket Buster

    Saturday, set for Feb. 21.

    A national teleconference Tuesday afternoon announced the field and the 23 home sites of which Lafayette was one.

    However, the date of the made-for-TV event falls on the Saturday prior to Mardi Gras (Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2004), and Cajundome director Greg Davis said the Krewe of Triton has the facility booked for that date.

    "It's definitely a conflict," Davis said. "You can't have a basketball game and a Mardi Gras ball in the arena on the same day."

    The one-day ESPN event will feature 23 games and 10 national telecasts, with the network matching up potential NCAA Tournament hopefuls. The Cajuns are one of three Sun Belt teams taking part along with Western Kentucky and New Mexico State.

    Davis said that he and UL athletics director Nelson Schexnayder reconfirmed Tuesday afternoon that the Cajuns will not play a home date in the Cajundome that day.

    Steve Venetis, captain of the Krewe of Triton, said Tuesday that moving his organization's event a Saturday night staple locally for nearly a quarter-century would not be feasible.

    "It's been a tradition for 25 years," Venetis said. "We parade Friday night and the ball is Saturday. People from a lot of places already have the dates scheduled. It just wouldn't work ... It would totally mess everything up."

    Sun Belt Conference commissioner Wright Waters said Tuesday that the league had lobbied for UL Lafayette's inclusion in the field and for a home appearance in the event.

    "We were assured there would be no conflicts," Waters said. "The next step is seeing what the possibilities are. We need to find out more information and go from there."

    Bracket Buster Saturday was inaugurated by ESPN last season to match teams against top non-conference opponents three weeks prior to the NCAA's Selection Sunday, when the field for the NCAA Tournament is announced. The concept allows programs to showcase themselves and "play themselves in" to the NCAA field.

    Of the 23 games scheduled, five will be selected for ESPN or ESPN2 national telecasts on that day, and five others will be distributed in the markets of the competing teams through ESPN Regional Television.

    The Cajun squad wasn't in last year's Bracket Buster field, but did play a nationally televised (ESPN) home game on Feb. 26 against Western Kentucky.

    That game, played one week before the Sun Belt Tournament and two weeks before NCAA selections, drew 9,121 fans to the 'Dome and provided a national audience with a good atmosphere, despite the Cajuns' 69-66 loss.

    "It's an opportunity to show your colors and your enthusiasm," said head basketball coach Jessie Evans. "I had nothing but great comments last year after the Western Kentucky game, and you can't buy that kind of exposure. If we get an opportunity to put your best foot forward nationally, we should take it."

    But Schexnayder said that the university's agreement with the Cajundome blocks out specific dates that are not available for basketball games. He said that efforts will be made to put the Cajuns into a road game in this year's event and host a Bracket Buster game in the following season.

    "We can't play there by contract from the Friday before through Mardi Gras day," he said.

    The rest of the story



    Dan McDonald
    dmcdonald@lafayette.gannett.com

  2. #2
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    Screwe that Krewe!


  3. #3
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    Thats a shame. A total shame.


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    Before anyone jumps my case I know this is from 2 years ago. OK does anyone know if this hang up has anything to do with why UL wasn't invited to BRACKET BUSTERS this year? Another question. How many days a year does UL get to use the Dome?

    Thanks.


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    I think they try to get a few new teams each year to mix it up.


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    Originally posted by CajunCall
    How many days a year does UL get to use the Dome?
    A 1984 press release stated: "In a 25 year agreement with the city, the university reserved 23 free dates a year to host its own activities"

    I think I read (but I can't find it) in 2010 ownership reverts to the University.

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    Is Blackham open on that date??????


  8. #8
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    BirdofParadise is offline Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Greatest Fan Ever
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    The Bracket Buster-less Cajuns had nothing to do with the Cajundome being available.

    New Orleans was supposed to be good before Brown and McDade were ruled ineligible, Middle was picked to win the league, UALR won the East and had everyone returning, and Western kissed the SBC's butt to get a BB game.


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    just doing some old research . . .

    Louisiana's Acadien 1984 yearbook said that in addition to to the basketball games "plans were in for two commencement exercises and two special events, such as concerts, to be hosted by the Union Program Council."

    My question is; Has UPC continued to use all 4 reserved dates for special event programing?


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