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UNCP Football: Don’t Fire Up Those Grills Just Yet

By Brian Beck
Staff Writer

Saturday parties with friends, day-long tailgates at the football field before a game and the chance to root for your team when they make it to a big bowl game. Students at UNCP may soon be participating in these activities if the proposal to start a football team at the school goes through.

In the 40s and early 50s, UNCP did have a football team, but the program eventually came to an end. Talks have started again, though, after a recommendation by Chancellor Meadors and the Athletic Department. A feasibility study will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their Dec. 3 meeting.

Illustration by Mark SalazarThere would be both benefits and drawbacks to having a football team here at UNCP. Sure, there would potentially be an increase in enrollment and retention rate. Also, there would be the opportunity for the day-long tailgates when the school rival comes to town, the post-game parties and the prestige increase that football brings to a school.

Adding a team, though, can also cause problems for current students. Currently, there are already parking issues on campus, with it taking 30 minutes or more for some students to find a parking place in the morning. If enrollment rates did increase, there would be a need to build new dorm buildings and more parking lots. Also, there is a chance that a football stadium would need to be built.

With the large sums of money that would need to be spent on all these things, an increase in student fees alone wouldn't cover everything. The big question to me is, "Where is all this money going to come from?" Will we lose a chance to have the value of our academics increased, lose the chance to introduce new academic programs at UNCP or lose the chance to hire new professors?

Also, we could end up losing something that makes UNCP unique. If enrollment rates increase too much, we could potentially lose the personal touch that we currently have here at the school. That was one of the largest reasons I chose to attend UNCP - I didn't want to be part of gigantic classes.

So before you rush out to stock up on tailgating necessities, remember that a football team would also have drawbacks. If another survey is presented to the students and you feel that the drawbacks would be acceptable, show your support for the team. Just be sure that you've thought about all the circumstances surrounding this decision.

Black Line
  The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Updated: Thursday, November 18, 2004
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