Friday, May 21, 1999

UC committee decides to keep football program




BY SCOTT MacGREGOR
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A faculty committee appointed to study the impact of dropping football at the University of Cincinnati concluded the school should keep the program.

        In its report, released Thursday, the ad hoc committee did not strongly recommend keeping football but did not recommend abolishing it. Its summary statement was somewhat murky: “Taken together, pluses and minuses of eliminating football or reducing the NCAA classification of UC football might balance each other out.”

        The faculty senate accepted the committee's report, and there was no vote, UC spokeswoman Chris Curran said. The committee was formed in October in response to a faculty proposal to abolish Division I football at UC.

        “The issue has definitely cooled down since October,” Curran said.

        Arguments in the report for keeping the program included:

        • Football does not take money from student fees to support its budget. • Dropping to Division I—AA would mean only “minimal” reductions in some costs. It might also result in lost revenue because of decreased fan interest and attendance.

        • Intangibles, such as improved opportunities for social life and an increase in alumni and friends of the university visiting the campus.

        The report also detailed football graduation rates (44 percent and 58 percent for 1996-97 and 1997-98) and grade-point averages from the last three years (2.38, 2.26, 2.27).

        Coach Rick Minter did not want to comment on the report, other than to say: “I don't think football at UC is going anywhere. Right now, we plan on maintaining a Conference USA affiliation and Division I status.”

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