Welcome to UNF Football.com

Now that we’re 100% Division I…..let’s attack the FBS.

Football (a serious presentation) brings more than football players, more than fans.  It brings greater opportunity to the university as a whole through increased exposure and revenue - ticket sales, concessions, merchandising, etc - but behind the scenes there’s more at stake. Universities with Division I (now Football Bowl Subdivision) football teams receive 8% more annual state appropriations than their non-football having counterparts (Brad Humphreys – University of Illinois - "The relationship Between Big-Time college football and State Appropriattions for Higher Education"). The University of North Florida’s students don’t only want the addition of football to their University, but they actually need this. A Big-Time football team scores them more money from the State? Sounds pretty good to me, too. 

Let’s say we don’t believe the research by Humphrey, and that the 8% figure is incorrect…total hogwash. There still is a monetary benefit TO THE STUDENTS for having a Big-Time program. The recent cuts in funding to the public universities didn't affect everyone equally. Schools with Big-Time programs enjoyed the luxury of lessening the impact of the cuts. Case in point, in just 20 years, the University of Florida's Athletic Association has contributed over $55 million to the University. That money definitely eases the pain of the budget cuts.  

The recognition that a successful football program garners is worth the university committing its time and resources wholeheartedly.

Opportunities for the school and students

It is the UNF’s president, John Delaney’s objective for the university to eventually become a “destination” university rather than a commuter school, as it is looked upon today.  Becoming a destination university is achieved more easily with national recognition - lots of national recognition - the kind of recognition that is given to schools with a successful football program. “A successful football program helps the university reach regions of the country it wouldn’t have otherwise,” athletic spokesman for UCF, Joe Hornstein, understands.

A lot of emphasis is put on it being “successful,” but what does that mean?  Consistent 9-3 record? In the top 25?  Bowl bound? I say, any of the aforementioned would qualify, but the last two don't require caveats, whereas a record does. Who did you play to get to 9-3? Boise State can attest to this.

“Drive for show, putt for dough”

This is a phrase used in golf emphasizing the importance of your short game (the hard part).  Sure, everyone loves to see those monster drives from the tee, but matches are won (and lost) with irons and the putter (Tom Watson’s unfortunate putter play the '09 British Open is an excellent example, or the new straight-laced Tiger is another good example). 

Think of a football team as the role of the driver; drawing attention to a school.  But the “putter” in this situation is the quality of education.  Like the putter, the quality of education the university provides is where they earn their reputation. 

The “driver” will only get you looked at, no one goes to school because of the baseball, basketball, or football team. Students attend a college for the education it’ll provide. With UNF, its short game is in place already.  The Princeton Review regularly ranks the university among the best in the south. Because of the importance of the short game, aka education, “It takes a great academic university to be a top athletic university,” University of Florida President, Bernie Machen says. 
UNF is half-way there. It has one heck of a short game in place, it simply needs to add a quality driver.

Does Size Matter?

"Football is so immensely expensive and the way athletics is funded at a public Florida school, the only way to have football is if you have a large student body," President Delaney is quoted as saying in 2008. He continued with, "it would be pretty hard to get a football program going until you get about 30,000 students."

Maybe it does take a large University to field a football program?  Or, maybe having a football program is a sounding bell to having a large University? Either way, I don't think "large" is referring to the size of a school's enrollement. Maybe it's the size of the school's endowment. Maybe it is merely the mindset of its key people - the President and Athletic Director. True, if you think of it in terms of cost, not just any school can embark on having a program…let alone have a successful one.  There truly is an incredible amount of money needed to start a football program, and the marjority of the cost is the stadium.

Someone must not have informed Florida Gulf Coast University's President, Wilson Bradshaw, of the prerequisite size of a university because he has hired Carr Sports Associates to conduct a feasibility study of starting a football program (Division I). FGCU has 11,000 students presently enrolled - roughly 31% fewer than the University of North Florida and considerably much farther away than the suggested 30,000.

In case you don't remember FGCU, they were just up here October 2nd and thrashed our Lady Ospreys in Volleyball. If you didn't make it out to that, then you might have seen them in September when on the 19th their ladies soccer team beat ours. Baseball your sport? Maybe you made it out to the game on the 20th of May when FGCU beat our team 18-6, or the first game of a double header on the 21st (4-2), or perchance second game that day (9-2)? Point? They take their sports seriously at FGCU.

So, is it the size of the school or is it its dedication to success?

As is, I'm certain our athletic department is losing money. We have 17 DI sports and only one is a Black Sport (finance term for profit, not race, so don't start). With the majority of our sports being Red Sports (a term first coined on UNFFootball.com referring to sports that lose money - Basketball and Football are the only sports that make a profit, generally), it's pretty much a given that we are among the litany of schools that lose money.

Only 14 out of 120 FBS schools' athletic department reported turning a profit for fiscal year 2009, yet almost 60% of the 120 reported a profit when looking only at their football program. Football could lessen our loses or maybe even make our athletic department profitable.

So, what do you think?

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News & Events

September 3rd, 2010

College football season is officially upon us. What way better to celebrate this than to get the talks going about the University of North Florida having a football team!

End of Season

The Best Option for the head coach position will be posted. One other possibility will also be revealed then, too. Why the secrecy? More than likely, this guy will dominate the possibilities. We really want to hear feedback and suggestions of andy OTHER coaches that YOU might have in mind.