Thursday, September 18, 2008

Let Them Have Football

Posted by Jarvis Holliday On 9/18/2008 No comments
A city the size of Charlotte should have a major college football team. The only college football we have is Johnson C. Smith. And while the JCSU Golden Bulls often field a strong squad and get great support from alumni, they play in the CIAA. UNC Charlotte, our largest college by far with more than 23,000 students, got one step closer to its efforts to start a team. UNCC Chancellor Philip Dubois announced his recommendation this morning that the university should start a football program and field a Charlotte 49ers team by 2013.

You can read more about Dubois' announcement below, but here's my take. A group of dedicated folks have been pushing hard for the past two years with this campaign to launch a team. It has plenty of support from current students and alumni and, to me, that's all you need to make it happen. Well, it will also take about $80 million, which includes the cost of building a stadium, but it's worth it. Football is part of the college experience that every student should be able to enjoy. So I say give the kids a team!

From press release

CHARLOTTE – Sept. 18, 2008 – In a presentation Thursday to the University’s Board of Trustees, UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois recommended the University should start a football program and field a team by 2013. The proposal came during the board’s meeting at the Harris Alumni Center.

The trustees took the chancellor’s recommendation under advisement. They will make the final decision whether or not to accept the recommendation, and the decision likely will come in November.

The chancellor’s recommendation comes after 21 months of deliberation and research by a football feasibility committee, Dubois and others at the University. Dubois has given several previous reports to the trustees on the issue of whether to add football to the University’s roster of athletic programs.

In his presentation, Dubois said he felt the time was right for football at UNC Charlotte because it helps foster a full university experience that many students crave in their undergraduate careers and could help build even closer relationships with the greater Charlotte community. The University is expected to have 35,000 students by 2020.

Dubois said the issue was not really about whether UNC Charlotte will play football in 2013. Instead, “this should be a question of where UNC Charlotte wants to be 20 years after 2013.”

The soonest the trustees are expected to make a final decision would be at the board’s Nov. 13 meeting. If football is approved, the most likely scenario would have UNC Charlotte fielding its first team in the fall of 2013.


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