Tulane and Louisiana Tech have never really had a rivalry.
Even though the two schools are located in the same state, they've only played each other eight times and the last time was in 1998. Tulane has won each of those games.
But Louisiana Tech athletic director Bruce Van De Velde was hoping to change that. According to the Shreveport Times, Louisiana Tech has inquired several times about striking a home-and-home series with Tulane, but Tulane hasn't had the scheduling space to accommodate the Bulldogs.
However, after Tulane booked a home-and-home series with Louisiana-Monroe in April, Van De Velde took it personally and decided to lash out.
"After what we did for them following the hurricane ... that one really hurt," Van De Velde told the paper. "We have really been trying to get them to play us."
Did he just hold Hurricane Katrina over Tulane's head?
Yeah, he did.
In 2005, Tulane was displaced after Hurricane Katrina struck the New Orleans area. Several schools offered to take in Tulane's athletic teams so they could finish their seasons, including Louisiana Tech, which opened its doors to the football squad. Even though it wasn't the best of accommodations, Tulane was grateful to have a place to stay. For the better part of the year, the team stayed in a condemned dorm that reportedly was infested with rats. The two teams shared facilities and practice fields. It wasn't an ideal situation, but it might have been a program-saver for the Green Wave.
KatrinaBut since then, Tulane has had a tough time getting its football program back on track. It hasn't won more than four games in any season since and has continued to endure outside forces such as other hurricanes and even a team-wide bout with the H1N1 virus.
For Tulane, playing a program such as Louisiana Tech probably won't reap the benefits it would if the Green Wave were back to where they were pre-Katrina.
While Tulane is grateful for the help Louisiana Tech provided, it's a little unsavory to then infer that Tulane owes Louisiana Tech for the help. Tulane declined to comment on Van De Velde's words, but acknowledged its appreciation of the assistance during that time.
"We were very appreciative of everything Louisiana Tech did for us during Hurricane Katrina, as we are of everything Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and SMU did for us as well," Tulane spokesperson Roger Dunaway said.
For Louisiana Tech, the benefits are clear. Southern Louisiana is a good recruiting area for the Bulldogs and, since Tulane is in Conference USA, beating the Green Wave could give the Bulldogs a minor bragging chip with the conference they ultimately want to join. The WAC, Louisiana Tech's current conference, is struggling to keep its membership together and Louisiana Tech has made it clear that Conference USA is where it wants to be. However, so far, Conference USA doesn't share the same affection.
While there's no word on whether a series might happen in the future, Van De Velde probably hasn't endeared himself to Tulane with his comments, especially since he wasn't even with the Louisiana Tech athletic department in 2005.