UNF Football Student Opinion Sends Mixed Signals

Raleigh Harbin

Photo Credit: Keri Weiland
Despite the lack of a football team, UNF football t-shits can still be seen around campus.

Why doesn’t UNF have a football team?  An article in the Oct. 3 Spinnaker shed light on some reasons for and against UNF adopting a football program.

The potential cost could be $8 million per year, a budget that equals all 17 of the UNF athletic departments, UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon said.

The cost alone of a football program at UNF brings potential costs of 8 million dollars per year, a budget that equals that of all 17 of UNF’s current athletic departments, according to UNF athletic director Lee Moon.

Aside from the cost, the question mark remains fo whether or not students would support a UNF football program when so many of them already root for other college football teams.

“I’d like to see Osprey football,” Zach Brasili, a UNF sophomore said. “It would make UNF so much bigger.”

The cost of adding such an expensive program extends beyond the athletic program’s budget. Each student currently pays $16.33 per credit hour in funding for the UNF athletic budget according to UNF Sports Management Assistant Professor Kristi Sweeney. With the addition of football at UNF, these fees potentially increase by 20%.

“If UNF had a football team it would bring the city together,” said UNF sophomore Coulter Fordham. “It would create a nice little rivalry with JU.”

Fordham said a 20% increase in student fees is understandable, and that it’s all part of the school expanding.

“You’ve got to know [increases in student fees] are going to happen,” said Fordham. “An extra twenty percent? Bring it on.”

Increasing student fees in the name of funding an athletic department budget to fund a football program may create uncertainty in the minds of UNF students and faculty. Considering that tailgating, cookouts, pep rallies, and rivalries bring about the most exhilarating aspects of college football, some students believe a football program at UNF would create distractions more than excitement.

“Football teams take away a lot of focus out of other things,” said Gina Alvarez, a junior coastal biology major at UNF. “It distracts me. It’s kind of like when friends say, ‘let’s go to a party’ but you have to study.”

Alvarez, added that she came to UNF and enjoyed the fact that it doesn’t have a football team, but she’s open to UNF adding football if that’s what the majority of the students want.

“Football exploits schools sometimes,” said Alvarez. “I just don’t care so much for (football).”

Alvarez along with most students agree that they would attend the football games and events despite the hoopla surrounding football.

UNF athletic director Lee Moon said a UNF football team in the next few years is unlikely, mostly because of fiscal matters. With football on layaway, one student believes UNF needs to improve on advertisements for the sports it already offers.

“Honestly I’ve never seen advertising for [athletic] events,” UNF junior nutrition and dietetics major Brittanie Sullivan said. “That’s probably why I’ve never gone to any sporting events.”

Other students, such as Fordham, said UNF athletics should set up in the student union and hang banners encouraging students to attend athletic events.

“I would go visit more events if someone created more advertisements for the teams,” said Fordham. “The athletics department needs to do improve in advertising.”