Friday, November 12, 2010

Is football at TAMIU really that far-fetched?

Ay mero! No te muevas Pelon!
I was surprised to read that two nearby division II schools were making the jump to NCAA division I in football. You might know Div.I and Div.II by their newer names the FBS and FCS. Texas State University's Bobcats and UTSA's Roadrunners will be joining the WAC in the FBS in the next couple of years. This got me to thinking (again) why is a college football program at TAMIU such a far-fetched idea? Supposedly, Laredo has a population of over 230,000 and still growing. It has 7 High schools and surrounding towns.

I would have thought that we would have had a far better chance of fielding our own Division II (FCS) football team at TAMIU than having a $38M arena and a hockey team. On top of that, we're in the process of getting a $21M minor league ball park. I would dare say that I'm certain that such a TAMIU football team would get much more support than either hockey or baseball. Highschool players would have a chance of continuing their football playing days and Laredo could root for a team all of it's own. In anticipation of the naysayers, I still say that football and Laredo are a more natural match than hockey and Laredo. Those who say Go bucks ! good for you. What I'm asking is why not Go Dustdevils?


  1. Football at a small school like TAMIU (approximately 6,000 students) is a dead end, more often than not for longterm viability.

    In essence, the fan base to support a program must come from the citizenry and when 1/3 of Laredo's population resides in poverty, the money for a game and attendance is beyond the pale for most.

    Yet, this has been chronicled ad nauseum by others with a better flair than a Laredo blogger like me. In fact, in this week's _Sports Illustrated_, "Does it Matter?," a story by Dan Wetzel and Austin Murphy focused on how much money is lost on college football each year, even with the major schools like Michigan and Ohio State losing cash at the end of the year.

    Among the chief problems that impact football as a money drain are:

    1) Program costs: The money to run a program is a long term endeavor that depletes a university's resources more often than not.

    2) Administrative Salaries: The people who push for football are the ones who benefit the most, ADs and coaches. They also have salaries tied to success of said program.

    3) Title IX: Herein lies the problem. To fund a football program, you need about 50-60 athletes. 1972's Title IX provision mandates that an equal number of female sports athletes are also included. So, what happens? You either bring in about 5-6 additional women's sports or you cut the other men's programs. Seriously. SMU does not have a men's baseball team for that reason.

    In essence, Texas State and UTSA are moving in this direction for another reason: they are no longer commuter schools. Administration officials and other pointy headed guys in suits realize that to build an espirit de corps, so to speak, is to conjure up loyalty and have more students interested in sticking around during the weekends and buying into dorms and other university stuff.

    Of course, you can do this when you have a student population of 20,000 (both schools are above that). But when you are still living with mom and dad and there are less than 5,000 undergrads (many of TAMIU's students are also people working on their MA degrees), then you might not see it as a viable alternative.

    But, I could be wrong.

  2. Thanks for the comment, that's how we learn. I guess I was looking at it from a question of which made more obvious sense- hockey or football. Apparently, there's lots more that meets the eye. Anyway, I don't know If I would stick with the name "Dustdevils"

  3. Hey . . . hey . . . hey. . . watch out for challenging the name of "Dustdevils" if you are going to be sticking around Laredo for a while. After all, the mascot name--like that of the Bucks--was picked by residents of the Bordertown.

  4. Yeppers, I remember those contests well. Probably shows I didn't vote for either one and they still won- shucks. I remember a kid won with "Bucks". I don't recall who came up with "dustdevils".

  5. TAMIU needs funding to do that. They need an alliance and they also need donations. Where is Red McCombs at? We don't have that guy here, but I wonder if the Killams could donate? mmmmm

  6. Far fetched or not, I still think it's a pretty sound idea if you consider other things Laredo has spent money on. I know smaller towns have had teams before, even here in Texas. So, yea it can be done.