Ralph Capitelli ’65 CJ Will Get Victory Lap After Leading Sugar Bowl through Difficult Year

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"Unlike most folks, for Ralph Capitelli '65 CJ the year 2020 was so much fun that he’s repeating it.

Sort of.

What was supposed to be a one-year term for Capitelli as president of the Allstate Sugar Bowl has been extended through 2021. The rest of the 2020 officers, including president-elect Lloyd Frischhertz, will remain in their current positions as well.

The action, temporarily breaking a Sugar Bowl rule that’s been in place since 1983, was first broached by the executive committee last fall when the COVID-19 pandemic endangered the college football season, including the Sugar Bowl, which was serving as a CFP semifinal.

The game between Ohio State and Clemson was played as scheduled on Jan. 1, albeit with only 3,000 people allowed to attend and without any of the normal Sugar Bowl activities.

But the idea that as president Capitelli experienced the most uncertain moments in the bowl’s 87-year history with the possible exception of Katrina, which forced the game to be relocated to Atlanta, while being deprived of some of the rewards of heading the organization remained. Last month the full membership voted to suspend its bylaws and continue with Capitelli as president.

“I was flabbergasted,” said Capitelli, a New Orleans attorney. “It’s such an honor to be asked to do it again."

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