Sep 6, 2022

When we broke every team huddle after practice or before a game or between innings going from offense to defense, we would say, ”US”. “1 – 2 – 3, US”

“US” not only meant the players and coaches – it represented the WHOLE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY – the faculty, the athletic department, the greatest fans in the country, the alumni, the little girls who came to our camps, the families who came to all the games -home and away, the boosters, the groups that cooked after home games, the people who listened and followed from far away, etc.

It was a reminder to us that we probably would say 5 to 10 times a day. It made us conscious everyday of the amount of people it took for us to chase our dreams. It was an expression of gratitude for the countless contributions and acts of love from so many.

So year after year, the softball players and staff (referred to as ”we”) showed ”devotion” to “HER” (I will refer to THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA as her, she & you) & ”US” (the group described above). We did so with idealism and dreams and hopes that were pure, honorable and good.

We were chasing EXCELLENCE and hoping our energy and efforts would bring about pride in the community and inspire the next generation to hope, dream and trust the promise from HER and that SHE would honor and cherish those precious opportunities and endless possibilities.

  • You should not try to destroy people WHO LOVE YOU.
  • You do NOT throw people away you are committed to.
  • SHE threw ”US” away but in the process LOST people who truly LOVED & sacrificed & poured out their ”very best” for HER.

SHE mistook all of our laughs, texts, long nights of bus trips, sweat in the unbearable heat, sacrifice through pain and injury, missed family and social events together as just part of our obligation and duty to HER. SHE WATCHED & CELEBRATED EVERY VICTORY WITH US & we thought that meant SHE CARED. It never really was as important to HER as we thought it was. And it was certainly not as important to HER as it was to US.

Both Kelsey Vincent and Sarah Corbello played softball for YOU; then joined YOUR athletic department staff, and dedicated and sacrificed to bring pride to YOU, yet YOU summarily dismissed them as a “bother” and threw them away when it was no longer convenient to have a discussion of ideas about their vision of how to make YOU better and more pure. Instead of ”LABELING” them & pointing out their flaws then throwing them away, isn’t the foremost mission of a University to TEACH – to help others to learn and grow and develop? Why do you arbitrarily decide who is worthy of growth/time to learn and who gets ”labeled” and thrown away?

For meeting their responsibilities to YOU, they didn’t warrant YOUR mutual respect and consideration. They loved YOU and you did not love them back.

It took all of 5 minutes to ”erase” FACTS from YOUR WEBSITE as if we never existed. Or lock US out of our own locker room. YOU abandoned your own; people who were products from & of you.

College News: Published Report Says Louisiana-Lafayette Has Paid to Settle Case of Former Ragin’ Cajun Softball Coach Michael Lotief

A lawsuit filed three years ago this week by former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun’ Head Coach Michael Lotief against hs former employer has been resolved according to a report released today by a media company out of Louisiana. Photo by NFCA.

In the above photo of the players at the press conference, most all got dismissed too: thrown away by YOU. Some found other schools: Arizona, Oregon, McNeese, Missouri, Charlotte, etc. Others moved on from softball.

But they loved you too, and YOU did not love them back.

But, even love unreturned has its rainbow.

We loved an ideal. A worthy vision. The hopes of possibilities of what could be. And we were and are willing to sacrifice and fight for these ideals and vision and hopes.

We made these ideals, vision and hopes a priority day after day, pitch after pitch, game after game, practice after practice — we believed it was our common mission TOGETHER, even though WE LEARNED THE HARD WAY THAT THESE IDEALS & HOPES WERE NEVER FOREFRONT TO HER & WE WERE ONLY AN OPTION TO HER.

  • I’ve learned that sometimes things have to get ”messy” for their to be GROWTH.
  • I’ve learned that failure and struggle and adversity are really learning opportunities.
  • I’ve learned how to take the puzzle apart and also how to put it back together better.
  • I’ve learned that hurt and pain and suffering will bring about deep meaning and purpose; and
  • I’ve learned that motivation that cannot be summoned from anywhere else but by enduring pain and suffering is the best kind of motivation to use to figure out how to make worthwhile, life changing, and ever lasting priorities and how to create the most persistent, relentless, focused, competitive mindset.

Even though the purpose of OUR UNIVERSITY we loved was to GIVE US STRENGTH IN TIME OF TROUBLE, WISDOM IN TIME OF UNCERTAINTY, GRATITUDE IN TIMES OF HAPPINESS and LOVE IN TIME OF TURBULENCE – we found that strength, wisdom, and love instead in ”US”.

Love, loyalty, trust, joy —all of these qualities are things we came to expect from ”HER” but only found in ”US”.

What it really adds up to is LOVE – the kind of love that is respect, due process, order, transparency, intellectual integrity, encouragement, support, genuine concern and care for each persons growth and development.

Our expectation of this LOVE & SUPPORT was an incalculable source of strength, and because of our belief that we had such unwavering love and support from so many, we dared greatly and strived valiantly. This incalculable source of strength allowed US to sacrifice unselfishly on HER behalf.

Beneath all of the love and support, we felt the mandate and obligation to “US” to make a difference – wrongs which needed attention, people in our community who needed our help or somebody who just wanted some hope — basically, to take our accomplishments with the serious responsibility to the concerns of others.

  • SOFTBALL taught us that one man or one woman could and should devote their time, talents and treasures to make a difference.
  • SOFTBALL taught us to brave the disapproval of others, the censure of our peers, the criticism of social media and the wrath of the powerful to bring about positive, meaningful change.
  • SOFTBALL warned us against taking the easy path and becoming complacent in our successes just because we had the privilege of a great education.
  • SOFTBALL showed us the possibilities of a bright future that may lie beyond our vision but not completely beyond our control.
  • SOFTBALL urged US that the shaping impulse OF OUR VERY INSTITUTION depended upon the work of our own hands, matched with sound reasoning and solid principles, that would determine HER VERY OWN DESTINY.
  • SHE took pride in our accomplishments and successes which motivated US to stay engaged in the process of growth and development so our voices and ideas felt welcomed in shaping HER DESTINY.
  • SHE encouraged us that when we saw a wrong that we should try to right it —we merely believed it would make HER PROUD and hasten & cement HER DESTINY in righteousness.
  • By seeing suffering and trying to heal it or find solutions, we KNEW that’s what SHE WANTED US TO DO in order to bring US ALL CLOSER TOGETHER with the hope and opportunity that we all deserve the chance to chase after our dreams and goals and God-given potentials.
  • SHE told us that a community and a team that was strong yet FLEXIBLE enough to meet the demands of especially all of its own PEOPLE (students, faculty, alumni, staff, fans) was IMPORTANT;
  • SHE told us that marching towards increasing diversity and fairness was the right thing to do.
  • SHE assured US that SHE was open to all ideas and opinions and voices and that she was equipped and ready to handle and implement positive change.
  • SHE demanded of us our honest and sincere views and told us not to be afraid to have the honest discussions – that she could handle it with care and without retaliation or vindication.
  • SHE proclaimed that SHE had the vision and greatness to bend history and SHE committed to doing it by working with US to change small portion of events as they occurred.
  • SHE assured US SHE had the courage to stand up for ideals.
  • SHE boasted of actions took to improve the lots of others.
  • SHE said she stood ready to strike out against injustice, and
  • SHE said SHE STOOD READY and devoted to lead the way and light the fire necessary to bring about positive change.

It hurts to know that YOU abandoned your ideals; & that YOU broke your promises.

This is only one chapter in the book of YOUR HISTORY, but YOU MUST KNOW it’s a substantial part of our lives.

It is an ugly chapter for YOU that hopefully the next generation can learn and grow from. BUT YOUR intellectual dishonesty by trying to REVISE THAT CHAPTER OR DELETE IT ALL TOGETHER IS WRONG & deceitful and robs YOU OF LEARNING VALUABLE LESSONS in your future.

YOU HAVE TRIED TO ERASE ”US” COMPLETELY – unrequited love; but in the process YOU have revealed a dark side that stains your beauty.

Everybody up for a break: ”1 – 2 – 3, US”!