Can Chico State Revive Football Program?

Nov 24, 2008 11:19 PM

This time of year, college football provides a lot of excitement on college campuses across the country. But not at Chico State University. Football was played at Chico State for 73 years before the school dropped the program in 1997. Students, alumni, players and the head coach were stunned.

Now 11 years later, some former players would still like to see the program revived. Sterling Jackson now teachers physical education at Pleasant Valley High School. He played football at Chico State 1989-90. "People want to be able to say we have a good football program. We're working to get better. But people want to know now, why don't we?"

Ron Souza played defensive back for the Wildcats in 1981-82. "I think Chico State needs it, and misses it. The community misses it. I think the money is here and the community at 100,000 people is big enough to make it in Chico.

Students say football would provide some much needed school spirit at Chico State. Athletic Director Anita Barker says "It's true that football adds to a collegiate campus. You can't turn on a Saturday afternoon college football game and not feel like it brings something to the community and the school." But Barker adds "the bottom line is fiscal, it is expensive to run a football program."

Tomorrow night in part two of our special report, we look at the economic realities of football at Chico State. Would bringing it back be worth the cost? And what other sports would have to be sacrificed?


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