Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Quotes from the football pep rally

Before and during UNC Charlotte’s pep rally in support of the university’s adding football, Observer reporter Stan Olson talked to a number of students and faculty on campus. Some planned to attend the rally; some didn’t. Some of what they said follows:

“I’d like football; I’m not too happy with the current situation. It would bring more publicity and more prestige, probably. Because the sport represents a lot.”--BOB KORONGY, sophomore.

“First of all, I think there are a couple flaws with (football backers’) arguments. They want football at UNCC. The argument against it is that it’s going to cost more money for us as students. And their retort is, ‘oh, don’t worry, it’s only going to be put into place in 2012. You’ll already be graduated.’ So why should we have any say in it at all, it should be the people who are coming in who should be the rallyers for the football team.”--BEN ANDERSEN, senior.

“I’m suspicious. I think for an institution that’s growing, it’s probably a good thing. I’m just not confident about the timing. It’ll raise fees. UNC Charlotte’s up-and-coming, but we’re still going to compete on those Saturday afternoons with Virginia Tech on TV. And it’s a little bit of a paradox, because we’ve graduated tens of thousands of students, many of whom live in the greater Charlotte metropolitan region, and if I could be convinced that we’re going to capitalize on that pool of interest, then it could be eight exciting Saturdays for the university. But it’s an expensive adventure and it will put pressure on other fund-raising activities. There is limited resources; these programs are funded by non-state dollars…I’ll be convinced the university is ready for football when the home basketball games are sold out.”—PROFESSOR ANDREW HARVER, chair of the Public Health Science Dept.

“I think we need it. I guess it will boost morale around here. There’s just a basketball team. We’re UNC Charlotte but we’ve only got a basketball team. Talking to other students, I think we all would like a football team.”—PERRY DIXON, junior

“I’m here for a football team, so I’m here for the rally. (She’s wearing an N.C. State cap). I know, but it’s raining; I have to have a hat on. My brother bought it for me; he’s at State. He’s got a football team. We want to be able to cheer for a football team; we’re big enough. My brother pays the same as I do (in school expenses) right now and they have a football team.”—DANIELLE BEADLE, sophomore

“I guess I’d be concerned with how much of a hike in fees there would be. Coming from an academic standpoint, it would be nice if there was the same kind of rally for some kind of academic program. I guess that’s my selfish view, being a graduate student. I don’t want to come off sounding anti-athletic; I love athletics. I guess I would be worried about the amount of money it would take to get something like that going.”—ANDY MATTHEWS, graduate student

“We have a very loyal fan base who are going to be out here rain or shine, no matter. I’m very proud to see our fan base. And (with football) it’s still going to be cheaper to attend Charlotte than almost every other school in the system even after the fee increase. And you know what? The money thing can’t be out-weighed by the intangible benefits, giving students a more complete college experience, tying us to alumni and the community, and retaining students after they graduate.”—JOB FICKETT, sophomore and a rally organizer.

“I think it’s the right thing to do; it’s been a long time and I’m hoping they go ahead and approve it on Thursday. I think the rally will help; I think the chancellor’s probably made up his mind by now, but I think it helps with the board and probably the general public to see that we’re really serious about football. I think it really needed to be done back when they looked at it before, which was 2000, 2001. That was probably the right time. We probably could be in the Big East (Conference) right now if that would have happened then.”—TODD GRADEN, class of ’93.

“I’m for it 100 percent. This would be great to unite the alumni. I’m excited about it as an alum and an employee. I haven’t talked to anyone who was passionately against it, but many who are passionately for it. If there are scores of alumni out there that are anti-football, I haven’t talked to any of them.”—NICK McENTIRE, class of ’00, Charlotte alumni office employee.


Anonymous said...

The home basketball games WERE sold out in Conference USA when we had several quality opponents.

Getting a football team would provide the athletics programs the opportunity to move into a stronger conference. Once we have more than 1 or 2 quality home opponents in Halton Arena, sellouts will become more commonplace.

Jon said...

I could not agree more Chris... I wish we could create a better conference for football and basketball. I want no part of the ACC, Big East, or SEC, but there has to be a way to get ourselves in a better conference than the A10. We will be in the A10 for 1AA football, if and when we move up, where will we go?