“Seriously? They really want to have a football team here?” was my initial response when someone pointed out to me the possibility of such a thing occurring. I was frankly amazed. Of course, you’re about to get an earful from me about why such an idea is…well I’ll be kind and just say bad.
It’s easy to recognize that in becoming a university we will want to have all the things that come with large and well known schools – prestige, graduate programs, pomp, circumstance, and yes, a myriad of student sports teams including football. It’s easy now that we are a university to make the same mistake as the new doctor who buys a Ferrari the day he graduates from medical school, before he even makes his first paycheck. We must maintain, however, and realize that there are many things ahead of football on the proverbial list.
Our role has never been to be the prestigious institution whose name alone gets you into grad school. To be sure, you can get a top-notch education here (I’m enrolled after all), but we are the people’s school, so to speak. We have and should continue to serve the community by providing a cheap education to anyone who would come and sign up.
How does football serve this purpose? It may be that a football team is a symbol for the community and the student body to rally around. With a sports team that draws those connected or potentially connected to this school, we can tighten bonds and therefore benefit the school, and receive some much-needed attention. School spirit; bonding; all nice things.
It is not clear how this helps students to get a better education though. Football teams are expensive operations. Contrary to popular belief, they are not money makers. A football team here will be nothing but tremendous drain on every other program.
Student fees already contribute huge sums of money to athletics, and a million-dollar sports team would not lessen that burden. Only the biggest and most well-known college teams ever turn a profit from their teams, and that requires nationwide exposure, news coverage, and a fan base that we can never hope to have. Expecting this is an illusion at best.
Of course, anyone in favor of a football team would have to realize all this. The fact remains that we have a clear role to fill, a clear history of collegiate service to Utah
Valley to which a football team (dare I say the entire sports program) simply does not contribute.
Just ask yourselves these questions: How many scholarships could be offered with the amount of money necessary for football? How many students could be sent to conferences to represent our school? How many much-needed rooms could be added to the halls? Unless we are willing to loose all of these things and more, we cannot consider establishing a team.