Around this time of year many people are abuzz with excitement over football season. Such excitement can lead to questions like, why doesn’t UVU have a football team and when might a football team be coming to UVU?
The answer is simple: It won’t be anytime soon, and there is a very simple reason why.
UVU is so concerned about its own expansion of classrooms and earning academic prestige that football becomes an afterthought.
Many people might have thought that moving to the WAC would eventually lead to a football team. However, not having a football team paved the way for UVU to reach it to a mid-major conference-a conference that not only has automatic qualifying rounds to national tournaments, but a conference that is eligible to play against the best competition in the country.
A football team would need a provision or practice time period, much like the basketball team has gone through in making their way up to the level of play they have been playing at for several years now. A football team would have many years of losing seasons while making the transition into Division I football.
One of the top factors of not having a football team is the cost. While making the transition, the football team would have to have less home games and play on the road to help the bigger schools “tune up” for their respective seasons. Travelling across the country is very costly. On average, a smaller college team will travel around 40 players and their coaches making it close to 50 people travelling. Hotels and food also add to the expense, forcing many small schools to lose money on their football programs.
The school would also be required to spend thousands, if not millions, of dollars for scholarships for the athletes on the team. Money that the school would, again, rather spend on necessities like classrooms or dorms for students.
One of the biggest factors as to why a football team won’t be coming to UVU anytime soon is support. Many football fans at UVU have said that they want a football team here, but attendance would be an issue. To become a Division I program, the school would be required to build a new stadium, and the stadium needs to be filled to 15,000 people. Those 15,000 people needed each week have already proven in other sports that they would rather support the University of Utah or BYU.
A word of advice for those football fans that want a team at Utah Valley: Support the programs that already exist at UVU. The basketball and wrestling teams, for example, have had some really good talent come through their programs, and much of it has gone unnoticed. The more students show interest in our own school athletics, the more the school will be likely to listen the demand of having a football team.
Having a football team is a status symbol, saying that the university has arrived athletically. Having a club is nice, but playing real teams with real athletes would mean so much more for the school and football fans alike at Utah Valley.