29 October 2019
Brian Blevins | Derek Lee
UCCS is not going to get a football team any time soon, according to athletics director Nathan Gibson, because of a combination of funding, staffing and Title IX compliance.
As one of the few NCAA Division II schools in Colorado without a football team, students wonder why UCCS has not invested in the program. Gibson has addressed these concerns with administration and continues to answer these inquiries.
Gibson said a lack of money, the staffing requirements and adhering to Title IX guidelines would make it impossible for UCCS to have a football in its current state.
“The average cost in our conference is around $2 million a year,” said Gibson. “On top of that, we would have to build a football stadium somewhere.”
Gibson said that it would take $10-20 million to build a stadium to meet Division II standards, and it would require a yearly budget for maintenance, repair and utilities.
Gibson and his athletics department believe that they would have ask students to double the athletics fee from its current amount, around $10, to $20 to support the program, and there is no guarantee that would be enough. Departments on campus are dealing with lower funding from student fees because of the decreased enrollment on campus.
Even with the money, to meet the bare minimum staffing requirement based on other football schools would be two to three times what UCCS’ athletics department has. UCCS would have to hire more sports medicine and athletic trainers, more strength and conditioning support, more sports information and marketing and more team members ensuring compliance.
The staffing requirements would cost around $250,000 to $300,000 a year on top of the $2 million annual cost for the program.
A football team would add 150 new male student athletes, but that would require UCCS to add just as many female student athletes.
“Title IX is always at the center of this discussion,” said Gibson. “We’ve been really intentional, particularly on the women’s side. We have more women’s sports than men, and we have more female athletes than male, but that’s appropriate because that reflects our student population.”
Unless things drastically change, UCCS will not have a football team.