Here at Utah Valley University we have a lot of extremely competitive athletic programs. Our women’s basketball team won their first WAC tournament game last season and the men’s basketball team is getting help from transfer students who will start next season. UVU’s baseball team swept the season series against the University of Utah and our wrestling team is in the Big 12. Most impressive are the men’s and women’s soccer teams, with the women winning the WAC in 2015 and the men projected to be ranked nationally in the top 25. Despite the success of UVU athletics, students seem to be disenchanted with the sports at the university.
People have all sorts of reasons for not supporting their school’s athletics, but by far the weakest excuse is the fact that we don’t have a football team. I hear things like, “Oh, well we don’t even have a football team!” or “I’d have more school spirit if we had a football team.” That’s not an excuse. You’re telling me if we had a football team you’d watch the soccer team more? How does that even add up?
Here’s the hard truth about a football team: it costs money, lots of money, and the university can’t just conjure up the money to make a football team — even if they wanted to. Why should we expect a football team when we don’t even watch the sports we have now? That’s like turning 16 and having your parents give you a 2002 Honda Civic, treating it like garbage, then saying, “Well if I had a brand new Mercedes Benz I’d take care of it.” What makes you think your parents are going to turn around and drop a ton of money on a brand new car when your actions prove you don’t care about the car you own?
We’re far removed from getting a football team, but if we want one, we need to show the athletic department we care about the sports they already provide. The teams here are competitive in their games and in their divisions. Next season we could see our men’s basketball team in the NCAA tournament and we could see both soccer teams making strong runs into their respective NCAA tournaments. Our wrestling team is full of potential, with national qualifiers emerging every season.
Being a university is new for UVU, as is participating in Division I athletics; we can’t expect things to happen right away. Go watch the soccer games, the basketball games, the baseball games and the wrestling matches. If you’re a fan of sports, you won’t regret your time spent cheering on your team. It may take several years before a football team is considered, but it will never happen if we don’t do our part now.
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.