UVU football coming soon?

UVU football coming soon?

By Tyler Gray and Garrett Coleman, News Writer and Sports Writer

Football has become a highly-favored sport in the U.S. and some even believe it has surpassed baseball as America’s favorite sport. With professional and college football seasons in full swing, many students hope that UVU will have a football team one day, but is that really the case?

The prospect of a UVU football team has been a topic of debate for the past few years, and questions have only increased since Utah Valley State College transitioned to a university in July 2008. There are however a few obstacles standing in the way of a UVU football program, specifically the financial environment in which all universities find themselves, the school’s academics and UVU’s current athletic conference.

“The fact of the matter is, football programs are very expensive propositions and we’re in the middle of a tough financial environment right as we’ve moved to become a university,” President Matthew Holland said. “We have some really fundamental needs to build out the academic programming in support of the institution and that has to be first and foremost in my mind.”

Holland further elaborated on the various factors that would have to be overcome in order to start the process.

“If we can get into a conference, that needs to happen, then we have to take assessments year by year to say, ‘What does the financial picture look like? What does our academic programming look like?’ Once those things get put into place then I think the institution can think about a football program. But we’re not there right now,” Holland said.

Financially speaking, it’s hard to undertake an endeavor like starting a football program from scratch. Athletic Director Mike Jacobson also commented on the financial aspects of a football program.

“It’s tough when the economy is down and there are faculty members that aren’t getting any raises,” Jacobson said. “Then to start a program like football, which is an expensive program to get started, football will pay for itself. So after a short period of time it’s not going to be a drain, but initially to get it started it would. We would love to play football. It would be great for our community, great for our university, great for our students.”

Aside from finances, UVU must first get into an athletic conference that not only includes football, but that is a better fit geographically. Holland is making it a priority to move UVU into a larger conference.

“My biggest push this first part of my administration has been what can we do to get into a better conference,” Holland said. “It’s the thing that all sports need and it’s the thing you have to do before football.”

Jacobson echoed his sentiment regarding a better conference for UVU.

“I think it’s important that our students know that for the last five years specifically, we’ve worked really hard to get into a regional all-sports conference that would accept us,” Jacobson said.

There are a few reasons why UVU hasn’t already moved to an improved conference. First, the university will not rush into a situation that isn’t beneficial. For this reason there are a number of conferences that make more sense than others.

“The fact that we don’t have football is a plus for us right now,” Holland said. “Due to conference expansion in football, select conferences have chosen to move forward without football and that is where UVU can carve out a niche.”

Secondly, UVU’s own history can be a hindrance to some.

“For a lot of different reasons we haven’t been accepted at this point,” Jacobson said. “A lot of presidents have trouble with us being a junior college just ten years ago and now being a university today. They don’t look at our academia at the level that it is and needs to be recognized at, even though we’ve been very competitive athletically.”

UVU administration is working hard and prospects of a football team are slowly getting better. The university is poised to move quickly when a better situation comes along by implementing conference affiliation fees and with the recent purchase of 100 acres of land.

“We have purchased that land for expansion for the state’s fastest-growing school,” Holland said. “The immediate plan is to have intramural fields, then we will take it year by year.”

Both Holland and Jacobson are optimistic that a move to a better conference will happen soon.

“I’m convinced that in a very, very short period of time, we’re all going to be getting together and having a press conference and be very, very excited about a big, all-sports conference that UVU is going to be a part of,” Jacobson said.

Either way, a majority of students feel that UVU is ready for a football team and would be there to support it. Unfortunately they will have to be patient and wait for that day to come.

17 Responses to "UVU football coming soon?"

  1. Rob   October 8, 2012 at 10:25 am

    UVU has a club football team. When the time comes to get a NCAA team rolling, the athletes from the club team are the athletes that will be playing, mark my words.

    There is some really good football being played by the UVU club team this season. They are undefeated. Here is the website with some info. Hitsomeone.com

    Check it out!!!

    Reply
    • random   October 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Rob, lets be real that is a rec league. with a bunch of has beens.. people who just wanna hit again. at the very most maybe 3 players in that entire league could compete on a d1 level.

      Reply
      • Random_02   October 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

        You definitely have a point. Harvey Unga is definitely not a Division One player and he played a season in the UTFL with UVU Clubteam. But, oh thats right, he now plays for the Chicago Bears in the NFL. There are 3 D-1 scholarship players in the UTFL one on the UVU club team and a player grey shirting for BYU that are playing a season before they leave for LDS missions.

        Check your facts before you comment. Thanks for playing.

        Reply
        • random   October 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

          Alright buddy.. like i said maybe 3 players that can compete on a D1 level… you named me 3 players, and for your information i actually play in the “UTFL” right now. and I played college football on the JC level (all conference/all american) and D1 level. The league is great and i have a ton of fun playing in it. Trust me though these teams would get absolutely destroyed against the worst teams i played against in Jr college ball. FACT. (even most highschool teams) its a rec league. everyone enjoys it, i love it! But lets not give it credit for something it isn’t.

          OH and by the way Harvey Unga does not play on the bears per wikipedia: (On August 27, 2012, Unga was waived by the Bears.[11] He was later placed on the practice squad.[12] He was once again waived on October 9, and replaced by Kamar Aiken.)

          Reply
        • random   October 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

          oh yea.. check your facts before you comment, thanks for playing

          Reply
          • with random   October 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

            lol, don’t give them the pleasure of being “has beens”. Has beens in what? Varsity High School Football. That means the kids who acted in theater were has been actors. The kids who played the guitar were has been musicians etc.

            Come on now, College is a completely different level. If you guys were that good you would have gone somewhere after high school. AND if you did THEN you most likely aren’t eligible to play D1 anymore. Get over it.

            By the way, they aren’t undefeated either.

            Reply
        • Random   October 24, 2012 at 11:01 am

          Who is the D1 player currently on the UVU team, because he is not a D1 football player. As for the current UVU club players playing on a D1 football team by the time that UVU gets a football all them will have graduated or dont go to the school at all anyway so therefore would be ineligible to play. From my understanding Unga played in 1 game.

          Reply
  2. Rob   October 8, 2012 at 10:28 am

    You can see some great pics if you go to these links on Facebook.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/199304340100052/

    And here:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151105181663857&set=oa.408810285839614&type=1&theater

    Reply
  3. Gary   October 8, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    While this would be cool, I just don’t see it happening at the D-I level. There’s no way we could compete with BYU fans and the loyalty Utah County residents have to BYU football. It’s a shame what happened to the UVU hockey team, it would be nice to see some D-I hockey being played here. We would be the first school with such a program west of Colorado College if you’re not counting Alaska-Anchorage. The club hockey team regularly sold out the peaks arena every game. In my opinion,lets focus on a sport that could be considered a viable option and that would bring new fans to the game every weekend. I know there’s a lot of hockey fans in this state, this would be a great way to further the sport on Utah County.

    Reply
    • Rob   October 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Gary,

      I agree with you wholeheartedly. UVU would have to start out with a D-2 Football program competing in an entirely different arena against teams like, Weber and SUU. D-1 is not the place to start. As for competing with BYU, UVU will have to schedule the majority of their games around BYU’s schedule. You definitely cannot have a conflict with the scheduling if you wish to make money.

      As soon as the college conference realignments settle down a bit, I can see UVU making some progress on the football front.

      I would really love to see a few hockey games, I heard UVU had a decent team, but I was never able to see them play. It would be nice to get that going again.

      Reply
  4. Gary   October 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    While this would be cool, I just don’t see it happening at the D-I level. There’s no way we could compete with BYU fans and the loyalty Utah County residents have to BYU football. It’s a shame what happened to the UVU hockey team, it would be nice to see some D-I hockey being played here. We would be the first school with such a program west of Colorado College if you’re not counting Alaska-Anchorage. The club hockey team regularly sold out the peaks arena every game. In my opinion,lets focus on a sport that could be considered a viable option and that would bring new fans to the game every weekend. I know there’s a lot of hockey fans in this state, this would be a great way to further the sport in
    Utah County.

    Reply
  5. Lurking Dog   October 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Rob, NCAA rules would require UVU to start at the Division I (Championship Subdivision) level. This is what used to be called I-AA. Scholarships would not be necessary. The nonscholarship Pioneer Football League has schools ranging from small, private schools (Davidson) to medium-sized public schools (Morehead State). Closest member to UVU is the University of San Diego. The Pioneer will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs, beginning next season. See link to fan board.

    Reply
  6. with random   October 24, 2012 at 11:17 am

    That league needs to get a web developer. Its not that hard to make a clean looking website. Whoever is using Dreamweaver needs to actually learn how use Dreamweaver.

    Reply
  7. Brad   September 19, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Hello, I would like to state that if UVU had a Football team I would have SO much more school spirit. You see other teams like BYU and Utah who have lots of school pride. I don’t like the feeling of being in a “transition school”. I feel that if we had a Football team we would start to become more prestigious. I would attend the games and actually wear my school colors! And yes, it would increase school spirit all around. I am sure of it. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Jordan   March 29, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I know if UVU had a football team it would increase school spirit and hey I would love to see some more slogans on a uvu t shirt like BYU that also increases your brand. the sad thing is no one comes into the bookstore buying uvu gear if that happened that would help uvu lot. overall I think in a short matter of time UVU will have another major announcement and it will change uvu forever.

    Reply
  9. Dave R   April 11, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Not to be the hater, but I think the polls used in this article must be from a small sample. The thing I love about UVU is not being constantly badgered to have school spirit and spend money on games. From the information I have seen Football seems like a bad investment for the school. It could someday make the school money, but that’s a maybe. I’m at school to get a a degree and then leave; I’m not excited about current school funds going to a program that someday might or might not make the school money long after I’m a student there. UVU should stay focused on updating the teaching infrastructure and recruiting excellent professors and tutors.

    Reply
  10. Adam   May 25, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Forget football, UVU will be a RUGBY School! Watch!

    Reply

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