Conversation kicks off on whether we’ll fumble growth
Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 01:02
Coming from two local high schools that hold football in high esteem, Team Opinion originally planned to write separate articles pertaining to the possibility of an FGCU football team.
The two articles melded into a split effort and then morphed into the form of a conversation. Andrew Friedgen is from Bishop Verot, class of 2010. Sara Gottwalles is from Lehigh Senior, class of 2005. (She remembers when the school was still awesome.)
Here is the way our game played out:
SG: Football games were always huge for us. Our school spirit was phenomenal. We would make player stickers and tape them to the walls all around campus, and you'd have to find your favorite player and wear him all day. Homecoming Week was filled with activities, contests, and games. Students and teachers alike got really hyped, and remained excited all season.
AF: I don't think we were that boisterous, but definitely during Homecoming Week, things amped up. Personally, I didn't care. I'm apathetic about sports in general. The best thing to me about Homecoming Week was getting out of class early. I can see what it means to people to get pumped up for a game. I think similarly, bringing that sort of atmosphere to FGCU would have positive results. That atmosphere would allow for school spirit.
SG: I've heard people claiming that spirit is poor now — and it is — but there is a different attitude toward football. Football is this bonding sport. We've watched it for decades, it's all American— the Super Bowl was actually listed in my store-bought planner. Our fathers and grandfathers played it; it's like a medal of honor to be able to say you played on your high school or college team. It would be great to bring that to FGCU, but the costs, additional service needs, and space are what concern me.
AF: Yes, the extent of money we will have to spend in order to get this on the ball is disconcerting at least, scary at most. I was at UCF for their homecoming weekend, and saw the activity on campus. Though UCF is larger than us, still to think about that atmosphere coming to FGCU, how much would the final price tag be, and where would the money come from? I'm not sure if we're ready to take that leap.
SG: Absolutely, $1 million for the preparation year sounds about right. We'll be building facilities and hiring staff. The feasibility study mentions hiring more specialized personnel and increasing services. I assume this is including additions to health services that would be imperative. Also it is my understanding that we would seek out Division I coaches, and there will be a great deal of expenditure from that alone. But my thoughts come to a screeching halt when I read what seems to say students will foot the bill.
AF: One of the other discouraging things is the $90 million price tag on basic facilities. Where does that come from: students, or some sort of alternative funding such as boosters? Additionally, with expenditures of $90 million, what else could we put into the school that would be beneficial? Look at academics: If we only put a fraction of that amount into academics, what would be the effects? Yes, a football team would be great, and all that would come along with it. I'm not sure if it's the right focus currently.
SG: I agree. I feel we need more study areas. The library always needs more resources, and students need on-campus activities to keep them sane. How eco-friendly would all of this construction still allow us to be? The land needed coupled with the waste and garbage produced by football games and practices will inevitably have an effect on the environment we are concerned with respecting and conserving. There are so many areas we need to focus on academically — we are an academic institution first. And I can't see just tossing away our mission statement to hear "rah, rah, rah Eagles." We need to plan smart.
AF: As the eco-conscious school that we call ourselves, we should really consider this before we go ahead with football plans. You can't just apply industry-standard building practices if you want to keep that in mind. There are certain ways of building structures in a green manner.
SG: The school spirit, and gained activities would be a wonderful plus. But the ultimate cost is staggering. I don't think anyone currently at FGCU would see the establishment of the program. Maybe our children would.
The final score: go (Bishop Verot) Vikings + go (Lehigh) Lightning = go Eagles.!