Picture this. It’s a brisk, sunny, fall, Sunday afternoon on Hawk Hill. Thousands of students are tailgating, happy and smiling. They are getting ready to watch their hawks beat the Villanova Wildcats football team. Many prospective, and current Saint Joseph’s University students would love for this dream to be a reality.
Unfortunately, Saint Joseph’s University does not have a long history of football. The football team was dropped in 1939. While our country was at war, SJU was experiencing enrollment issues, like many small private schools at the time. After the war, in the 1950’s SJU brought football back to Hawk Hill. The only problem was finding competition. The reasoning behind this problem was that Saint Joseph’s was one of the few schools that participated in a non-scholarship football program.
In addition to the lack of competition, Saint Joseph’s is at a lack of money as well. In order to compete, Saint Joseph’s would have to start at the scholarship level. Considering the high tuition here, that is very costly. Also, building a big, beautiful stadium that will fit in with the rest of Saint Joseph’s scenic campus will be very expensive. Many smaller private schools that brought football back did not have the burden of the stadium costs. For example, La Salle already had an older, 5,000 person stadium. Unfortunately, La Salle no longer has football. There are other costs that go along with a football program. One of which is a coaching staff. A proper coaching staff requires at least 8-9 coaches. With coaches come offices for the coaches. Also, with a team comes a team locker room. A football team needs to have at least a 100-person locker room. All of the above necessities are just too costly for a smaller school like Saint Joseph’s.
A football team is a real desire among Saint Joseph’s University students. Through research for this article, I asked students their thoughts on getting a football team. The feedback was almost unanimously in favor of a football team.
Although a football team is what students want, it seems like it is just not something the Saint Joseph’s Community will ever get.