Lions to face the Bulldogs in 2021


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

The athletic department typically schedules games for the team years in advance. After playing against other universities in the state like University of Louisiana at Monroe, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Louisiana State University, the Lions are scheduled to play against Louisiana Tech University in the 2021 season.

The Lions football team is scheduled to travel to Ruston to play Louisiana Tech University in the 2021 season to benefit the athletic programs of both universities.

The athletic department handles various responsibilities of all the university’s sports, such as creating the teams’ season schedules, under the supervision of Jay Artigues, director of athletics.

“Andrew Bechac, our senior associate AD is over the scheduling, but he consults with myself and coach Scelfo,” shared Artigues. “We all consult together before we finalize the contacts, but Andrew really handles that for us.”

Decisions about teams’ schedules are made years in advance in order to prepare for the accommodations and logistics.

“Football schedules are usually made five to seven years ahead of time,” said Artigues. “So, we’re already scheduling for 2025. For instance, Oklahoma and Alabama just agreed for a contract for 2032 and 2033. That’s how far ahead football schedules are done.”

Scheduling in-state teams helps promote the university.

“One thing that I try to do, since I took over, is I want us to play as many in-state teams we can,” stated Artigues. “If you noticed, the last few years we played UL Lafayette, UL Monroe. We played LSU, and currently have Tulane scheduled for 2020. Instead of going to out of state to play FBS and FCS, as much as we can, we try to play in-state schools because it gets us a lot of publicity within the state. It’s tough because everybody in the country is trying to do the same thing and getting close games.”

According to the article “Southeastern Louisiana to play at Louisiana Tech in 2021,” the university will receive $275,000 to play on the road in Ruston.

“When we play FBS schools like LA Tech, they pay you guarantee money,” said Artigues. “We get a guarantee to go and play Louisiana Tech. We play in it. We don’t have to fly there as it’s one night. We can stay in a hotel and come right back. The benefits financially helps the athletic program.”

The funds raised by the university go directly towards improving the athletic department as a whole.

“That’s part of the way we fund the athletic department is through guarantee games,” stated Artigues. “You make them in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.”

Through such games, the football team finds recruits that can help the program, especially in local areas.

“Anytime we have the opportunity to play an in-state school we want to take advantage of because that’s helps us in recruiting,” shared Frank Scelfo, head coach of football. “We love to play in-state schools because it helps us with recruiting as we get exposure in the media throughout the state, which is our main recruiting base.”

The increased level of competition will allow the football program to improve on the field.

“When you compete against somebody, like a historic program as LA Tech, at the FBS level, you get a good chance to measure yourself,” explained Scelfo. “Last year, we measured ourselves against Monroe and LSU. This coming year, we’ll measure ourselves against Ole Miss, and in 2021, LA Tech. The measurement of who we are and where we want to go is very important.”

Scelfo believes that the fanbase will bring a crowd to the game against the Bulldogs.

“We have some very loyal fans that believe in this university and believe in this football program,” expressed Scelfo. “For those people, they’ll be there in numbers in Ruston, and I look forward to that.”