By Christian Cullen, Staff Writer
On Monday, we finally had months of rumors confirmed: Xavier University has been thinking about adding football. SGA emailed with a survey to gauge Xavier students interest in supporting a football team. For the sake of the future of Xavier I hope the Newswire readers expressed a distaste for the football team. Here’s why.
Firstly, we do not need a football team. It sounds simple, but it’s the truth. I do not know what sparked these conversations because looking around at Xavier I do not see a football shaped hole anywhere. Xavier has a vibrant fanbase for its athletics, but I do not think this fanbase was yearning for a football team to root for.
The first time the student body officially heard of the football team was the email from Monday. So, who asked for a football team? This feels like the most prescient question. On top of this, a core part of Xavier’s identity is that we are a basketball school. Obviously the addition of a football team would not completely destroy the identity, but it would shift. You would likely hear proud and loud voices discussing the basketball team, and hushed voices discussing the football team. When a school is committed to an identity for so long, it becomes difficult to imagine it once that identity changes.
Secondly, what would a football team look like at Xavier? In the SGA email, it stated the football team would be a small non-scholarship team. So, we are not exactly dealing with a program like Ohio State here. You would not see a Crosstown Shootout in football. We would likely be playing against teams like Dayton, Mount St. Joseph, and the like. No offense to the Pioneer League, but when deciding if we are to make a massive financial commitment to completely change the face of Xavier, we must judge all levels. Simply put, a small Pioneer League team is unlikely to galvanize much student involvement outside of one or two games, most likely the first one.
Where would a stadium go? Xavier is not exactly flush with land. Are we going to play in a local high school stadium? Are we going to get rid of certain academic buildings to make room? Are we going to sacrifice more of the Norwood area? No matter where the stadium goes or how big it is, it would be a blight upon the campus, a reminder of the full belief in a sport’s ability to make money when it most likely will not.
On that note, how does the money change? Where did Xavier suddenly find enough money to charter a football team, build facilities and a stadium, pay the staff, and put resources into it to improve it? Xavier has some very pressing issues to address, many of which are beyond the scope of this essay. However, these things cost money to fix. If the football team moves forward, we will have a very physical reminder of why we still deal with those issues. Whenever we see the football stadium, whenever we see a Xavier football game, or whenever we wear Xavier football gear, we will know exactly where money that could have gone to fixing issues much more detrimental than the lack of a football team. If Xavier goes forward with a football team, they must be extraordinarily clear with where their money goes. If a generally unpopular endeavor receives a large amount of money, then student anger would be at a high point and justified.
Clearly, I do not want Xavier to begin a football team. I think it is an incredibly ridiculous idea that will only function as a money drain and a massive waste of time and resources. Xavier seems to be moving forward with an idea they failed to consult its students about, does not seem to have wide support among the student body, would require massive amounts of funds to upkeep and start, and would change the shape and makeup of Xavier itself. This is incredibly irresponsible of the administration to move forward on.
I propose Xavier leave the question up to the people it matters most to: the students. If Xavier’s students voted for a football team, then you would not hear a peep from me. But the students deserve a voice in this process that was only just revealed to us. So, let us have a vote on it.
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