After witnessing the loss of USF to FSU, I felt compelled to write this quick tid-bit on my perspective of footballs impact on USF.
The consequences of a losing football team:
1. Prepare to see more students wearing other schools athletic gear, primarily in-state schools such as University of Florida and Florida State University. Prospective athletes and students touring USF will see
this and reconsider applying to a university whose students do not support our school, regardless of any academic ranking we might have. This in turn will downgrade the quality of incoming students, who revert to identifying USF as a safety school.
2. Alumni are becoming impatient, investing time, money and emotional energy into a collegiate team that is often more disappointing than not, and will reconsider diverting their resources away from a program that does not invest it in a logical manner.
3. Tampa will continue to be dominated by the influx of foreign alumni that reside here, preventing Tampa from being a college town that supports USF. Raymond James Stadium will never be home to the Bulls ever again, and will forever be dominated by colors other than green and gold.
4. Football is the greatest advertisement for any university in the South. Its from national attention of collegiate sports that spark the interests of young people, who in turn follow teams till they are old enough to apply to the universities they admire. For USF, a school so obsessed about its image as a national
powerhouse for superior research and impact, the consequences will be brutal. While football should
be no reflection of the academic integrity of a school, living in the South makes it a quality.
How to help solve this problem:
1. USF students must be proactive in their support for their university. Fickle allegiances cannot exist. Students must understand that as a university thats half the age of schools like FSU and UF, theres more pressure for us to represent the green and gold. Wearing collegiate gear that contains spears and gator heads is unacceptable, and should be greatly discouraged.
2. The USF football team. They deserve better, and our fan base deserves better. Weve been stagnant for too long, and those murmurs have become outcries for change. We shouldnt reward failure with contract extensions.
3. Tampa needs to support its flagship university with more intensity. For USF to thrive, Tampa must wave with fervent allegiance to the green and gold. Prospective students do not want to attend a university whose host town is not overwhelmingly receptive to its centerpiece.
Joshua Montaad is a junior majoring in psychology.