Students lobby for return of football to University campus

Student vice president attempting to revive football program on Xavier's campus for 2006-2007 academic school year | May 22, 2006

We've all seen the T-shirts: "Xavier's Football: Undefeated Since 1973." But that undefeated streak might soon be put in jeopardy. Joe Moorman, recently elected administrative vice president for the student government association, is in the process of reviving the football program on Xavier's campus for the 2006-2007 academic school year.

Club football, it seems, is the answer to everyone's prayers. That's right, a team donning full pads, helmets and uniforms is expected to grace the field in competition with Division III junior varsity football teams from other Midwestern colleges. Now, Moorman has to tackle two goals: finding a head coach and finding sufficient funding. "[Coaching is] our number one priority right now," he said.

"As far as the issue of funding goes," Moorman affirmed, "we're unsure about how it will be funded, but we're confident we can do it. The main issue is that football has a huge start-up cost. Once we start it up, it's more of a matter of getting it off the ground."

Student government association president Steve Bentley, legislative vice president Willie Byrd and Moorman are exploring funding options.

Because the club football idea was the most popular item on his executive ticket during the executive elections, Moorman said that some executive funds would be used to pay for initial costs. Other avenues to explore for funding are administration, board of trustee members, alumni and alumni football players.

An information meeting was held on April 10 to gauge interest in participation. "I'd say there are around 50-60 interested guys, but that's not considering any incoming freshmen," Moorman said.

Additionally, Jim Ray, director of recreation sports, already gave Moorman permission to allow a club football team to practice on the intramural fields.

Why club football, rather than an NCAA football team?

"I knew attempts to start a football team have been made and failed," Moorman said. "An NCAA title is too expensive so I took a different approach. The vision was to take club football, turn it into a strong program and five to 10 years down the road, an opportunity for football to become an NCAA sport." Critical to the football program's success is the fact that club football hasn't met any opposition so far—perhaps only some skepticism.

"I think a lot of people are waiting to see if we can pull it off. I think the main concern people have is how we're going to pay for it," Moorman said. "We really need a strong commitment from players themselves. It's been fun, but we especially need freshmen and sophomore leaders to step up and commit to make it happen. Otherwise, it won't last for a year or two."

(Jennifer Downing is the senior news editor for The Xavier Newswire. Reprinted with permission of The Xavier Newswire.)