Thursday, September 08, 2011

Franklin Pierce adds sports

Knowing the state of the economy, the fiscal state of higher education, and--having attended school in New Hampshire--the fiscal issues faced by NH schools, we were a little surprised to read that Franklin Pierce University has announced it is adding several sports.
No word on how these sports will be financed but it appears that the university has every intention of adding women's ice hockey (it already has a men's ice hockey team), men's and women's track and field, sprint football. It will also reinstate men's cross country (previously cut in 2003 for unstated reasons).
Interesting. Especially interesting is sprint football--which I had never heard of. Turns out it's the same as regular intercollegiate football. But all players have to weigh less than 172 pounds.
Reading further though it appears that the differences go beyond body weight. There is no pre-season. There will be no athletic scholarships. And the roster will be kept at 65 players. Also, FPU will not be investing right away in a stadium. Administrators are making arrangements with local schools over use of their facilities. In its inaugural season--scheduled for 2012--they will play a reduced schedule.
I really can't think of a more responsible plan to add football (regardless of how much the players weigh!).
Again, no word on where the funds for these additions will come from. FPU is a private school, but still...