A University Eliminates DII Football. Should More Follow?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Jonathan Whatley, May 12, 2020.

  1. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech), a nonprofit research university with a bricks-and-mortar campus as well as online and off-campus programs, is eliminating its NCAA Division II football program in response to economic uncertainty and financial challenges from the pandemic.

    The Florida Tech Panthers football team debuted in 2013 and played at a 4,980-seat stadium named Florida Tech Panther Stadium, though that's a high school stadium at which Florida Tech both rented time and naming rights. Florida Tech cuts football program, announces layoffs due to COVID-19 impacts (Eric Rogers and Rick Neale, Florida Today, May 11, 2020) Florida Tech Panthers football (Wikipedia)

    "More universities should do this," UNC professor Arrianna Marie Planey suggests in a tweet.

    What do you think?
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  2. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    I think I'd like to see a college football game played in Zoom.:)
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    There are plenty of major universities that don't have football teams and their students and alumni seem to muddle through somehow.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  4. AlK11

    AlK11 Member

    To answer the question, it depends. Each school is different and there are plenty of schools who make a lot of money from their sports programs even if it isn't in the traditional sense like Alabama. In Division II for example they are allowed to give out up to 36 scholarships. Many schools give out much less. Take your roster of 60 kids or whatever and you have 30-40 students who are paying tuition at that school who otherwise would not have gone there. In many of the other sports there is even more room for profit.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    Then why are schools punting on football as a cost cutting measure?

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    North many people want to see Division II and III sports.
  7. AlK11

    AlK11 Member

    Like I said, it depends. There are a lot of variables involved, too many to go into. Let me give you a short example of how many Division II and III schools run their athletic programs. They make sure that the money they bring in from tuition from the athletes is more than the cost of the sport. Of course there are exceptions, but most schools run in this manner. Football is a difficult one, because it is more expensive than other sports. However, take this real world example. School X charges 20K per year in tuition. They offer 3 full scholarships per year for this particular sport. They have a roster of 20 athletes. That's 17 students going to the school who are paying tuition who would otherwise have not gone to that school. Extrapolate that by 10 or 12 sports and very quickly you'll see how not only are these athletic programs self funding from tuition, but they're actually making money for the school. This wasn't an example I made up, but a real one. Go look at all the small Division II and III private schools in the North East. Very quickly you'll find that student athletes make up a huge portion of the student body, perhaps up to 40%. The only reason these students went to the school is to play sports, and the school is making money from their tuition. If you cut these sports from certain schools, the school would close within a year.
  8. AlK11

    AlK11 Member

    That's not their business model. They couldn't care less about the $2 in admission they charge to get into the games. They care about the 20K that the student athletes are paying in tuition to go to their school. Read my post above for more.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Three keys to a successful university:
    1. Parking for the faculty
    2. Sex for the undergraduates
    3. Football for the alumni

    On a more serious note, I believe a university can have a wide variety of developmental activities, including sports. But intercollegiate sports can skew the judgment of a school's administration, taking it far afield of what might be deemed to be supportive of the mission.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  10. felderga

    felderga Member

    I wouldn't be surprised if many mid-major Division I programs put their football programs on pause this fall. Many of the Power 5 conference are now discussing options including dropping non-conference games. The smaller Div I schools usually make their money playing non conference road games against power 5 schools. Any rate I expect there to be a ripple effect to many of the lesser non revenue sports as well this fall.
    Jonathan Whatley likes this.
  11. timothyrx

    timothyrx New Member

    It's a harbinger of things to come. The COVID-19 Great Depression is going to be quite large and long lasting. Some will decide dorm rooms are too risky, some will decide they cannot survive without them. The school might simply have felt distancing may be necessary in the fall and a stadium is too large a risk. Some universities are likely struggling with how to handle classes. I'm not making a political statement, just a realistic one.
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
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  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

    I agree that it makes sense to plan for the worst, but when in uncharted waters it still strikes me as a bit dangerous to think of one's predictions as realistic.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Aw, what the heck. Let's try one anyway: I predict there will be no college or NFL football in September. Not even games without fans in the stands. Putting on a football game requires hundreds of people getting together in small areas for hours at a time. That's a behavior that will not be sustainable for quite some time and almost certainly not by the Fall.
  14. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    I would not be surprised if sporting events are paused for the foreseeable future. In regards to colleges, I am still unsure. I believe that they will be up and running but will work on implementing social distancing in the classrooms. Maybe they add more sections, I do not know, but I feel they will find a way.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The way is to let go of the lecture format. Have students learn the basics in each course through online and other independent study processes. Then use the synchronous online environment to hold discussions to clarify difficult areas, exchange ideas, etc. Structure assessments so that they can be done without sitting in a classroom. (Hint: less testing and more actual work by students.) You know, DL in the 21st century.
    JoshD likes this.
  16. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member

    It's a dying model.
    Division III Colleges Recruiting High School Benchwarmers
  17. AlK11

    AlK11 Member

    Nothing in that article points to it being a dying model like you said. If anything, it is thriving. It also proves my point. The article says that adding a football program can add $3-5 Million in tuition revenue. There's a Division II athletic program that I'm familiar with that has an entire operational budget of $5.5 Million. The school doesn't offer football. If they added it they might be able to cover their entire athletic program just from the tuition their football team would pay.
  18. Life Long Learning

    Life Long Learning Active Member

  19. AlK11

    AlK11 Member

  20. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly

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