Bringing Football Back?
The push by certain alumni, community members, and students to reinstate the Colorado College football team that was disbanded five yeas ago has become a hot topic on campus.
While many logistical issues arise with the possibility of bringing back the football team, staff writer Nila Horner spoke with many student athletes, faculty, and community members to find out just how the campus community perceives the possible restoration of the CC football team.
An online survey taken by over 160 CC students, faculty, and community members showed very opinionated and differentiated results as to community perception. The survey included four questions.
- Were you aware that CC had a football team up until five years ago?
- Do you think that the CC football team should be brought back? Elaborate.
- Do you think that a CC football team would increase school spirit?
- Would you consider attending a game if a football team was formed?
The results of the survey are listed in the graph below, in terms of the percentages of responses for each question asked.
In addition to the online response, many students replied to the survey with strong opinions on the issue.
Shaina Riciputi, an athlete on the CC’s Division I Women’s Soccer Team, is concerned with CC’s already lack of athletic spirit and said, “I don’t believe that the football team should be reinstated at CC. If the student section is currently fairly weak outside of important or rivalry games (like our game against Duke last fall or DU hockey games), then why would it grow just because of a football team? If anything, it might further exacerbate the problem of some teams not receiving much support from the student body. I think that the school would be better off investing the resources that it would take to instate two or three new athletic programs into developing school spirit and supporting the teams it already has.”
Cross-country runner Erin Morrow hopes to keep CC football-free and said, “I kind of like that fact that CC doesn’t have a football team. I think it can be seem as symbolic of how CC is different from a typical college. Instead of going crazy for football every Friday night, we either get exceptionally rowdy at hockey games or spend time with friends.”
Freshman CC student Anjolenna Lutz agrees with Morrow on the front of CC’s individuality and said, “One of the reasons I think CC is extra special is because there is no football team. I love telling my friends at other colleges, ‘Yeah we don’t have a football team…we have hockey!’ We’re kind of like a hipster college, and I kind of like that!”
On the logistic side of the issue, junior men’s basketball player Joe Howard stated, “I believe the decision to cut the football program was a financial one. At this point, I don’t think it would make much financial sense to bring the program back. Supporting sports programs at the Division III level is really tough, and supporting another program would stretch the budget thin and hurt the other programs that are already in place. I love watching football, and watching a football game under the lights at Washburn Field would be a lot of fun, I just don’t think this issue will be resolved any time soon,” said Howard.
In agreement with Howard on the financial burdens that a football team would cause is Andrew Worthington, CC men’s soccer player. He said, “Unfortunately this is not just a question of, when is the football team coming back? It is infinitely more complicated than that more many reasons. Me personally, I would have no problem with the football team coming back. I am 100 percent indifferent. However, I am skeptical about the addition of another team here on campus, because of funding, field space, facilities space, Title 9, and the recruiting challenges all sports teams face.”
“Before I go into these, I want to let you know that I do not know the answers to these questions and roadblocks, but think it is important to bring them to the table for the sake of discussion,” said Worthington. “We currently don’t have a football field. Stewart is for men and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse, and Washburn, the turf field, does not have football lines. Would they play off campus, or would we have to renovate one of the fields? I would not be happy, as a soccer player, if another team, let alone a football team, started to play on the grass.”
“Also, I have no idea where the football team’s locker room would be. It would have to be big, and they would require more gear storage than the average team. The only problem is that there is no current available space in El Pomar Sports Center,” continued Worthington. “All locker rooms are at full capacity, and there would have to be additional construction to build a new space. Finally, adding a new football team would mean that there would be more male sports teams on campus. If CC added a football team, they would have to add another women’s team to comply with Title 9.”
While there was a slight lead in the online survey regarding students who wished to have a football team back, the most prominent issues plaguing students and community members are the finances of running a football team, space for their games and equipment, the individuality of a school without a football team, and the compliance issues with Title 9.
While there is a long road ahead for supporters of a football team being brought back to this campus, hopefully the well-spoken students of CC will be able to facilitate educated discussions with allies and rivals of the movement to save CC football as members of this campus community.