Which is a better idea for UCI — a science library or a football team? When push came to shove, the decision was made to build a new science library on campus, and it is now one of the best in the country. This has made a huge impact on academics at UCI. Some students, however, complain that their school doesn’t have a team. They feel that having a team would improve the UCI experience and make weekends more exciting on campus. Football is a great sport, but when it comes to the issue of bringing a team to UCI, the costs outweigh the benefits.
The most obvious reason to avoid starting a football program is the cost. It would be terribly expensive at first, and it is difficult to say where the money would come from if not from the pockets of students, parents and taxpayers. In an era of constantly rising tuition costs and student fees, adding an expensive sports program should be the last thing on the agenda. If anything new is going to be funded during this time of recession and state budget problems, it needs to have a direct positive effect on the quality of academic education at UCI. A perfect example: UCI’s new law school, a great decision and a justifiable expenditure even given the current budget situation.
Just imagine the financial burden of starting a football program. Football teams need coaches, uniforms, equipment and a stadium. There are a myriad of costs associated with traveling to and from away games. It just is not the time to even consider this as an option for UCI.
Those who claim that a football team would improve the UCI campus experience are correct. It absolutely would — but it would come at a very high price, and it just isn’t worth it, at least not right now.
Some students cite the lack of a football team as their reason for not having school spirit. These students should get more involved in UCI’s other sports programs, many of which are nationally ranked and have brought home championships. Our baseball, soccer, water polo and volleyball programs have consistently been exceptional.
Furthermore, brand new football programs typically go years without finding success or even having a winning season. My school spirit is more affected by taking pride in the achievements of our outstanding existing teams than it would be by adding a lackluster football team. Attending football games between the Anteaters and teams nobody has ever heard of just doesn’t sound appealing.
On to more practical matters: How many students would actually go to games? UCI is commonly thought of as a “commuter school.” Whether or not this is true, it is well known that many students live off campus or go home on weekends. Would football games be enough to change that? Many students know that traffic around on-campus housing is very minimal on weekends. Nobody is here.
Besides, UCI students are already notorious for staying home and studying during the best activities put on by the school. It is not clear that students would change their plans and stick around to go to football games. UCI students should first demonstrate the ability to fill 5,000 seats at men’s basketball games before even fathoming filling football stadiums that hold attendances at least four times that amount.
For those that do feel a need to attend football games to get the complete college experience, transfer applications are available in November. Everyone that attends UCI had a choice, and they chose to come here for school. Take pride in the school’s exceptional achievements, academically and athletically.
Rip ‘em ’Eaters!