Testing every athlete, each week ‘significant’ cost in budget, says Nicholls president

Nicholls football postponed

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Nicholls State freshman Sarah Rougeau had a lot of expectations for her first year. Many of those hopes and dreams for a Hollywood college experience are on hold.

"I was really ready for Friday night lights and seeing, like my high school also didn't have a band or like dancers or anything like that so I was really excited to see how Nicholls did that," Rougeau said.

Now she and other students will have to wait longer. The Southland Conference announced it is postponing all fall sports for Nicholls and Southeastern Louisiana.

“To say that the community is somewhat devastated is true,” said Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson. “Nicholls for us here, especially in Lafourche, is huge.”

University President Dr. Jay Clune says postponing games makes sense for the safety of its student-athletes but also the schools bottom line.

"For the small FCS schools testing all of your contact sports on a weekly basis has a very high cost to it particularly in an area where you're trying to provide community testing as we are here in Nicholls State University," said Dr. Clune.

He says while the university will lose money from concession and vendor sales. Clune says weekly testing would put a huge dent in the school’s finances.

"Just the pressure on testing in a small community such as this and you know the optics of testing, athletes which you're required to do, who overwhelm are healthy when the community needs testing who are symptomatic presents another issue," Clune said.

The hope is to move fall sports to the spring.

“When we open in January and begin competition again, we’re going to be better than we left it,” Clune said.

For freshman Rougeau, it is not ideal but she’ll take it, “we just have to trust that everything’s going to work out.”

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