After several campus rumors that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette intends to change its school mascot back to the bulldog, officials are denying any claims of the switch.
Senior Communications Representative Eric Maron said there is little legitimacy behind this rumor.
“We haven’t changed the mascot. Nothing’s been decided on that,” Maron said of the supposed bulldog mascot.
He assured that a change this big would have “to go through our office,” that is, the Office of Communications and Marketing.
Despite the fallacy in the rumor, that does not mean that change could not be on the horizon for the face of Ragin’ Cajuns.
“People are talking about it, but obviously we’re looking at different things. I mean there’s nothing really formal that’s being done. I mean that everything that we’re doing is kind of just discussing, ‘What do we do if we if we do something? What kind of costs are concerned or involved?’” Maron said. “But there’s really no movement at all on it.”
If the rumor were true, this wouldn’t be the first time the university named a bulldog as its mascot.
“Originally, UL Lafayette’s mascot was a bulldog,” Lisa Wade, Ph.D. said in her “The Society Pages” article.
Yet, the university has seen many mascots over the years, as their human counterparts graduated and left UL Lafayette behind.
According to the Ragin’ Cajuns website: “...in the early 1960’s as an effort to ‘fire up’ the football team, Coach Russ Faulkinberry called his team the Raging Cajuns since 95 percent of the football team was from the Acadiana area. It was then decided by the Sports Information Director, Bob Henderson, to honor the team and the Cajun heritage by calling them the Raging Cajuns. The nickname of the Bulldogs was replaced in 1962. Not long after, this was shortened to Ragin’ Cajuns.”
And with the creation of a unique team name, came the creation of a unique team mascot.
“The first Ragin’ Cajun mascot was Cajun Man,” Wade said.
However, racial tensions heightened around the introduction of the white Cajun Man mascot and the diverse community at UL Lafayette.
According to Wade, with the graduation of the problematic Cajun Man came Cajun Chicken.
Cajun Chicken quickly won the hearts of fans with his spontaneity.
“The Cajun Chicken had shown up on the doorsteps of the complex and created a new experience to add to the game,” said the Ragin’ Cajuns website. “Not only did he add to the excitement that is Ragin’ Cajuns athletics, he was also quite entertaining and could cause a stir. With the spirit of Elvis Presley, the talent of Michael Jackson, and the darkness of the Grim Reaper, no fan would ever know what the Cajun Chicken would do next.”
Of course, Cajun Chicken’s graduation ushered in a new mascot.
“The University had to look no further than the new logos. Inside the logo, a pepper was used as the apostrophe for Ragin,’” the website said, adding this prompted the introduction of the Cayenne mascot.