Thursday December 7, 2023

Students or Professionals?

  • After evacuating, LSU and Tulane players are practicing and playing through the storm’s aftermath.
  • The NCAA insists they’re still amateurs, but their plans more closely mirror those of an NFL team than they do the rest of the student body.
Photo: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks
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Providing evacuation plans to athletes was a good thing. But after evacuating, LSU and Tulane players are expected to practice and play through the storm’s aftermath.

The NCAA insists they’re still amateurs — which is why teams don’t pay them salaries — but the plans more closely mirror those of an NFL team than they do the rest of the student body.

It’s a similar schedule to the New Orleans Saints, who left New Orleans before the storm and headed for Dallas. They’ve been practicing at AT&T Stadium and will remain there until they disperse for their mandatory preseason break on Thursday, head coach Sean Payton told reporters.

They’ll play their season opener against the Packers at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, the team announced Wednesday. The game was supposed to be at the Caesars Superdome. For the next few weeks after that, the team will practice at TCU, ProFootballTalk reported.

It’s a similar deal for the Green Wave and the Tigers, who may remain outside Louisiana for the next couple weeks.

Regular students received different directives.

Tulane opened campus buildings up to students who didn’t evacuate before the storm, but didn’t announce any mass-evacuation plans until Monday evening after Ida passed. Only then did the university bus students to Houston where they could fly home or stay at a temporary setup. 

They’ll have remote classes starting September 13, and have been asked not to return until in-person classes restart on October 11.

Like Tulane, LSU didn’t evacuate students in advance. And on Tuesday, the school announced it will be closed until September 7.

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