In the late 1960s, LMU — then named Loyola University — fielded one of the best football teams in the whole nation. The Westchester community was ecstatic to have a top-ranked football team. The team played with an immense amount of support from the student body and was a huge success. Many players and coaches believed that it would not have been possible to field a team without the help of the Loyola community.
In 1973, the football program was cancelled, and ever since then, football has been nonexistent on LMU's campus. The only time football is mentioned at LMU is when students go to USC or UCLA games. Students even choose to wear USC or UCLA student gear rather than LMU gear. This lack of school spirit could be a combination of our school's poor performance in sports in the recent years and the fact that we do not have our own football team. In my opinion, it is simply just because we do not have a football team.
For most schools, football is more than just a sport; it’s a reason to get out of bed on Saturday morning at 4 a.m., go to your friend’s house and get ready for the noon game.
You know why students and alumni put themselves through this ridiculous process just for a football game? Because to them, it’s a way to spend time with your friends, gather around a grill and talk about how your school is better than any other school in the nation. Hell, even if your football team is absolute garbage compared to the rest of the nation, it’s still something to do on a Saturday with your friends and family, a time to relieve the stress of that week and watch one of America’s most popular sports.
If LMU revived the once-great football program, the whole school culture would change. More students would sport LMU gear and there would be a huge increase in the school spirit.
Football could have more benefits for the University beyond just school spirit. According to the N.Y. Times, on average Division I athletic departments dramatically increased their revenue from $6.5 million in 1970 to $56 million in 2012. LMU could use some of this money towards the school’s educational programs to improve an already top tier education.
If we added a football program, the campus would have more liveliness whenever Saturday arrives, with everyone preparing their grills and trucks to tailgate the game and to celebrate something that everyone at this school enjoys — LMU and everything the school represents and teaches.
This is the opinion of Matt Rodriguez, a sophomore political science major from Milpitas, California. Tweet comments to @rpchreport, or email email@example.com.