Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Other voices in North Carolina

The coverage and commentary we have read thus far on the proposal to add a football team at the University of North Carolina Charlotte has suggested that there is near-unanimous support for the plan, though with a healthy amount of concern over where the millions of dollars it would take to do so would be coming from. But recently, two former UNC system presidents stepped forward and publicly expressed their concerns over adding football.
Dick Spangler and Bill Friday will be meeting with faculty at UNCC to tell them just how much football really costs. And though actual money is a concern and will be discussed extensively, they won't be talking just dollars and cents. Information from the Knight Commission on Athletics will be presented to faculty so they are able to assess how football affects then entire university community. Because while many proponents of the plan are discussing the excitement that a football program would create within and outside the university community, few are talking about how football affects a school's overall reputation. As collegiate sports (and not just DI; I witnessed how the addition DIII football program affected the climate of a tiny liberal arts school I used to work at) grow more and more out of control, it is something a school like UNCC will want to factor into its decision.