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OT: Hofstra follows Northeastern, drops football program

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by pats1, Dec 3, 2009.

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  1. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Arrington shocked by Hofstra dropping football - Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4709412

    As I said in the Northeastern thread from a week or so ago, college football (and high school football, for that matter) just hasn't taken root in the northeast. Perhaps it's because there's more smaller, Catholic schools in the area that focus on basketball (hence the dominance of the Big East in that sport). However, both Northeastern and Hofstra are larger, secular private schools. Even the big public schools - UMass and UConn for example - don't have huge football followings, as schools in the south do (Texas, Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Alabama, etc.)

    It's also important to note that Hofstra was the Jets' headquarters and training camp site until last year, when they opened a new headquarters in NJ and moved their training camp upstate.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  2. Rob0729

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    Well, they lost a huge money maker in the Jets who are moving their facilities out of Hofstra to the new complex in the Meadowlands. I wonder if without financial assistance of the Jets, Hofstra would have pulled their football program earlier.
  3. oldskool138

    oldskool138 Rookie

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    I guess you could say that their football program is as dead as Jimmy Hofstra. ;) :D
  4. jmt57

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    It was pointed out to me in the Northeastern thread that the NCAA has rules in place that prevent schools from fielding a Division 2 or 3 football team but being Division 1 in other sports. Perhaps it is time for the NCAA to revisit that decision; seems to me some sort of football program is better than none for all parties involved.


    Regarding why college football is not as big in New England as it is elsewhere, I think there are reasons for that that go back several generations. The New England area has more schools per capita than other areas, so there is not just one or two schools that the vast majority follow; loyalties are much more divided. In addition most of the schools here are much smaller in size than the typical football powerhouses across the rest of the country. Being smaller in size makes it more difficult to compete, both in terms of number of athletes available to field a team, as well as number of students and alumni needed to support an expensive program. Look at the national powerhouses and almost all of them have a huge student body and alumni base in comparison to schools in New England.

    Besides the residents of the area's loyalty being split between many schools, there are four pro sports teams that have been around since before most fans were born. People follow those pro teams first, with a college team a distant fifth. In many areas of the country there are no pro sports teams, or if there are they are relatively new. Residents of the entire state have followed one or two college teams for decades. That fandom is passed down from generation to generation from they day they were born.

    Although there are some exceptions, for the most part specific areas of the country strongly support either a college football team or a pro team, but not both. The exception is when both have been around for a very long time (e.g., Ohio State/Browns; Michigan/Lions.)

    While Boston College as a school may have been around for a long time, they've only been a national player for about thirty years, and none of the other schools have given people enough of a reason to follow them that closely. A big fanbase comes from being relatively succesful, and a loyal fanbase comes from being successful long enough for it to be passed down from one generation to the next. No New England schools have yet achieved that combination, although BC is getting there.
  5. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    I would argue that Penn State is in the northeast, and for many years, it has had a fanatical football following. The other state schools are not nearly the huge land grant schools you find elsewhere in the country. UConn has 16,000 undergrads. Elsewhere, schools get 40,000 undergrads. But UConn is doing as well as schools with similar bases, such as Kansas or Mississippi or Minnesota or Virginia.

    The biggest factor in dropping the football programs is that Northeastern and Hofstra wanted to stay in D1 for basketball.

    You cannot drop diVisions in football if you want to keep basketball at D1. The NCAA has a rule that says, if you're in D1 for football or basketball, then you need to place 12 sports and a certain amount of scholarships in D1. Impossible to do with football dropping to D2 and D3.

    This is a NCAA problem.
  6. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Saying Penn State is in the northeast is a bit of a stretch. Pennsylvania in general falls somewhere in between the northeast, the mid-atlantic, and the Ohio/Ohio Valley area.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  7. Tunescribe

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    Being a private Catholic school doesn't help BC's fortunes any in trying to generate a wide following for its sports teams.
  8. jmt57

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    Penn State has been very good for a very long time. This has resulted in a strong following by students and alumni, as well as in recruiting. For the longets time they were by far the best program east of Columbus Ohio and north of SEC-land. Everyone else in that area is still trying to catch up to them and still has to compete with them for the best recruits.
  9. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    UConn opened up a new stadium a few years back and actually jumped from the lower level 1AA programs to the higher 1A. Their program has been well received to the point where they may have to expand their stadium to meet the demand for seating.

    UMass is a former national champion and plays to a consistent packed house averaging about 15,000 in their 20,000 seat stadium. They are also going to be playing a huge money game, possibly being the first team in the newly renovated "Big House" in Michigan. There have been consistent rumors that the school will try to to go the next step and go for 1A status with a new stadium- doesn't seem too much of a lack of support for them there at UMass.

    New Hampshire, Maine, have had consistent big years with multiple tournament bids. New Hampshire has had a problem with capacity in their small stadium- it's been at full capacity. URI has had terrible seasons but has had some decent attendance numbers(67% capacity in a "new" stadium) despite the bad teams.
  10. PatriotsInGA

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    This is such a shame. College football is one of America's greatest sports and seeing schools drop it is just terrible.
  11. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    None of those programs have the broad fan and community support that the ones in the south do. You barely hear a peep about their games on local TV and especially radio; WEEI, in Boston, almost never discusses college football even in general - it's always Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots, and often in that order. Those schools could never fill up 80,000-100,000-seat stadiums. Not to mention the fact that they're 1-AA, except for UConn now.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  12. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    The 80-100 set is elite.

    Most programs in the south, ACC, west are not in that range.

    Again, there's no reason why UConn can't be Mississippi or Missouri or Kentucky or Minnesota or Oregon.

    Most d1 schools play in 50-60k stadiums.
  13. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    Your whole point was that the schools lacked support- the truth is it is quite to the contrary. They do in fact have support from their fanbases.

    Just because they aren't plastered on every TV set in New England does not mean they don't have support from either their institutions, their alumnae, nor their fans. They have support.

    Frankly the biggest football school in New England, BC, doesn't have many if any games on TV and themselves could never fill an 80,000 or 100,000 seat stadium without it being a huge name coming in. That does not mean they don't have support.

    And even if they are 1AA that is still Division 1 level.
  14. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wait. You just replied that no school in the area could fill a large stadium or is readily followed by the media. Then you said they have support. You seem to be contradicting yourself.

    Of course it (college football in the northeast) has support, it just doesn't have enough support. Not nearly as much as it does in almost every other part of the country. That's what I'm getting at. Every sport and every school will have a fanbase to some extent, but it's media exposure and overall community following (buzz, excitement) that matter. No college football program in the northeast has that.

    Hofstra's comments echo what I just wrote:

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  15. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    From the major conferences that have teams in stadiums that have seating capacity under that 50-60K range:

    BC plays in a 44,500 seat stadium.
    Duke plays in a 33,000 seat stadium.
    Wake Forest plays in a 31,500 seat stadium.
    Vanderbilt plays in a 39,790 seat stadium.
    Northwestern plays in a 49,256 seat stadium.
    Oregon State plays a 45,674 seat stadium.
    Washington State plays in a 40,000 seat stadium.
    Cincinnati plays in a 35,097 seat stadium.
    Louisville plays in a 42,000 seat stadium.
    and of course UConn plays in a 42,000 seat stadium.

    And the average is even lower than that mark, maybe 35,000-40,000 at most for most of the rest 1A conferences and independents.
  16. efin98

    efin98 Rookie

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    You are equating support with being on TV and the radio. That is not the case at all. They do not have to be on TV or radio to have support of fans, alumnae, and the colleges and universities.
  17. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Right. So by that logic, Quinnipiac women's basketball can still have comparable support to Notre Dame football if one is on a local AM station and mentioned in the box scores of the back page of a newspaper and the other is on NBC and grabs headlines on national newspapers.

    Please.

    Level of support = level of fan and community following. I don't see how you could argue that. You make it seem that because the University of Hartford basketball team has 5 fans that go to every road game and some limited number of students and alumni pay attention to it of all the sudden means it has broad "support." I'm sure there are people out there who follow af2 very closely and thus it has "support" by your definition. In reality, it had almost no media or community following or buzz, and thus that is why I am using the past tense; af2 no longer exists.

    The thing that makes your argument even more invalid is that fact that support can be pretty easily measured: revenue. Tickets, merchandise sales, advertising, media deals, etc. etc. If professional teams, college teams, or leagues do not have those, they do not have support. If they do, then they have support. I think that's pretty basic.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  18. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    I do see these teams on Tv each and every week. UConn really has every game on Tv.

    Pats1 is right that the support is not there yet beyond the 40,000 who go to the games, and yet the school has traveled decently for bowl games (10 to 15,000k) and away games (5,000 at Notre Dame). With the past success of the basketball team, one imagines they could build a fanbase that is at least as strong as half the teams in America.

    When the men's basketball team won the national championship, 1/10th of the state's population showed up at the victory parade in Hartford. 300,000 people. Sicne Conn. does not have a pro sports franchise, UConn is the state sporting brand, and it has good potential in football. Not to compete with the likes of the top rung (I never expect a 80,000 seat stadium) but it can be a 60,000 draw with lots of eyeballs in the nation's 25th market.
  19. upstater1

    upstater1 Rookie

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    Final part about revenue: if you look at UConn's football revenue, it exceeds a great many teams. I'm not sure revenue equals support. Not enough people in the state follow UConn football yet. But revenue wise they are in the upper tier.

    UConn jumped in with both feet by insisting on substantial donations for the privilege of buying seats in the middle of the field. And then the ticket prices were 100% higher than their cohort. And they insisted on 3 year commitments to season tickets. It's a cash cow for them, and I think the money they make--and the commitment they made to state-of-the-art facilities--exceeds the actual level of fan support. In other words, they have die-hard fan support that are willing to shell out the big bucks, but the numbers are fewer than they need to keep it going.
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