An uneasy silence fills the air on Saturday afternoons on campus at UVU—a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of a normal school day. There are few cars to be seen in the parking lot, no tailgating students eagerly awaiting a big game, and definitely no cheering crowd to be heard faintly in the distance.
At most world-class universities across the country, college football provides and sustains the spirit of the students, the publicity of the school and the funding for its athletics programs. Without football—these things are forgotten.
It’s no wonder that on any given day on campus you can walk through the halls and pick out a number of students sporting BYU football apparel. There is no cohesion or school pride at UVU. As soon as Saturday rolls around, UVU green finds itself in the bottom of the dirty-clothes hamper and is replaced by BYU blue or U of U red.
There are definite challenges to be faced if UVU is to ever add a football program. Although it would take time and funding, the long-term investment could be extremely beneficial to the university.
Imagine a day when UVU students are proud to be Wolverines and school spirit extends into the stadium and onto the gridiron. When navy blue BYU shirts and red U of U hats are non-existent on campus, and UVU can build an identity of its own.
I’ve only seen this school spirit manifest itself once. Last December, when USU, along with the majority of its student body, made its way down to the McKay Center to take on Ryan Toolson and the gang in men’s basketball, the arena was filled to capacity. The MAWL actually took up an entire section and the students were proud to be wearing UVU green. There was, for the first time, a legitimate sense of pride among the students.
Unfortunately, this has happened just once. On any given day, at any UVU sporting event, the opposing team can hear the coaches game plan in its fullness as their voice raises above the silence of the home crowd. This doesn’t have to be the case. A football team, something for the students to emotionally invest in, would actually make this schools university status complete. It would bring students together and instill in them an enormous amount of pride.