BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A mandate from the NCAA has clouded things for the Southern University athletic program and now, time is ticking on several fronts for several of the school's sports teams.
In the here and now, the mandate means the basketball, track and bowling seasons could go up in smoke because of a paperwork breakdown the Jags are scrambling to fix.
SU head baseball coach Roger Cador surveyed his team during practice Wednesday, just across campus from where the non-stop work continued as officials sent needed documents and student athlete academic information to the NCAA.
"It is such an enormous task and they're doing it without any complaints," said Cador. "I have not heard anyone complain."
Athletic Director William Broussard and his staff have made the third floor Mumford Suites their headquarters during the ordeal, and while no one was made available for an interview, the department released a statement Wednesday.
"We are collaborating with the NCAA and developing strategies for providing usable data in a timely fashion."
Some of that data was due by the end of Wednesday. However, an NCAA spokesperson said until a final determination can be made, a postseason ban is in play.
"All Southern athletics teams are currently ineligible for NCAA postseason opportunities," said NCAA Associate Director Michelle Brutlag Hosick. "A significant amount of work must be completed before NCAA postseason eligibility can be restored."
Many on campus, including students, said the work should have been handled long before this mad dash for compliance.
"It's not the students' fault," said student Kadasjah McMillon. "It's basically the administration, sad to say, but I feel like they should have been doing their part and doing what they needed to do."
Cador agreed and said lessons should be learned from this entire situation, adding the athletic department should have the tools necessary to make sure it is meeting all requirements.
"Athletics is a business and we need to protect it and hire enough people to do the job correctly. And, I'm going to have to say to Chancellor Lorenz if we are able to get through that, he needs to give Coach Broussard and all those people a big pay raise," Cador explained.
Southern athletic officials said they are in daily contact with the NCAA, adding the deadlines are merely there to make sure information can be collected on time. It still leaves an unknown for those wanting to cheer on their Jaguars.
"It's just all about pride and standing up for your team and university and just support and that's what we need to do, just support them," said Farrah Johnson, a first year student.
Southern athletic officials said the next NCAA hoop they have to jump through is a Monday deadline. The SWAC Indoor Track Championships begin Saturday in Birmingham, AL. The SWAC Basketball Tournaments begin March 11.