Shirts poke fun at non-existent football team

By Joey Krecic

Dec. 11, 2017

For some universities a football program is a profitable business, raking in millions of dollars every year in bureaucratic fashion. For Cleveland State University, having a football team is just a pipe dream.

Michael Schwartz, former president of Cleveland State, brought up the idea  as his tenure was coming to a close. In 2008, Schwartz said, “How about a football team?”

As the idea floated around the school’s administration,  Lee Reed, athletic director of Cleveland State at the time, was adamant about his feelings toward it.

“I don’t see building a stadium,” he said at the time.

However, this pipe dream continues for many students, enough so that one can purchase t-shirts saying, “Undefeated since 1964.”

This sarcastic slogan pokes fun at the school’s non-existent football team. In 2010 a poll was taken by students offering feedback on this topic. Sixty-nine percent said “yes” for a football team. However, only 54 percent said that they would be okay with any tuition increases to help fund its genesis.

Though adding a football team would be an exciting idea for an urban campus, both athletically and administratively, there are a lot of logistics to consider. 

The first is real estate. As an urban campus, Cleveland State is not fortunate enough to have massive amounts of land at a reasonable price. For example, Fordham in New York had a similar problem and resorted to putting their swimming pool on top of one of the buildings.

Second, Cleveland State prides itself on being an affordable campus. Adding another athletic program may affect the general fee that students already pay to cover current athletics.

According to a consultants’ study published by in 2010, the estimated amount to launch a football program would be around $13 million in initial costs, and an addition operational cost of $1 million yearly. In addition to the amount of money needed, adding a football team could potentially affect Cleveland State’s Title IX requirements.

If Cleveland State chose to pursue football, students would be asked to vote on a specific fee, and if any plans were to change it would require approval from Cleveland State’s board of trustees.


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