EDITORIAL: Football program cut will create ripple effect

Cutting football means also cutting diversity and opportunity

Loss of football program also means loss of diversity, opportunity

Lumberjacks football has been a staple of Humboldt for over 90 years. But this season will be the last for the foreseeable future and this community is losing more than just a team.

Football brings more to the table than just sports. Student-athletes chose this school to pursue their education and to chase their dream of playing college football.

Terminating Jacks football will be the conclusion of a program that has been a part of Humboldt since 1924, not long after HSU’s founding. The program has seen some standout stars and big-time players along the way. Lumberjacks 2017 All-American offensive lineman Alex Cappa was selected 94th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in this year’s NFL draft.

HSU says they do their due diligence to remain somewhat ethnically balanced while bringing in students from all over California. This practice is misleading as the university’s surrounding areas have many racial undertones. The football team is one part of the school that was true to HSU’s message of inclusivity.

Where there were once young men of all races working diligently towards the same goal, there will no longer be. The locker room that once brought men together will be empty.

HSU will honor scholarships for eligible players through the 2018-19 academic year, and coaches and staff will also help players contact other programs. At the end of the season, players will get a full release, which means they could choose to play at another institution.

President Lisa Rossbacher called it an unfortunate but necessary step in addressing the University’s structural deficit and protecting the school’s core academic mission. In her “mission” she has neglected a big part of what is supposed to make this university great.

The closing statement of our mission states: “We help individuals prepare to be responsible members of diverse societies.”

Less than four percent of HSU’s student population is African American and less than two percent of faculty are African American. Where is the diversity? Where is the care for the individual student?

HSU has experienced lower enrollment over the last two years. Fall enrollment has dropped by more than 400 students. This dip has had a measurable impact on the budget and the loss of football will expectedly lead to an additional decline in enrollment, which in turn will bring less people of color.

While getting rid of the football program could possibly be the right decision fiscally, the loss will be felt by many. People may not have ever met, had it not been for the football team. Familiar faces will change into strangers faces. What once brought a sense of camaraderie to this campus will now no longer exist.

HSU hopes that contributors and boosters will continue to support HSU athletics but the $200,000 or more increase in contributions last year was for football. Loss of the football program will have a long-term ripple effect. Where and what gets hit the hardest remains to be seen.

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Women’s rugby returns to practice after long hiatus

By Jake Knoeller Cal Poly Humboldt has a women’s rugby team for the first time since 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic and some conflicts with the school kept them off the field for multiple years, but they are finally practicing again.

Noise, rage, and skateboards — RampArt releases compilation LP

By Nathan Sano Through the endless cloud of hairspray, denim and the occasional crop dusting lies a paradise for local skaters, punks and music lovers alike. For the rest of us, it’s something adjacent to a welcome fever dream.  This

Beloved student Camile Nauta dies at 21

By August Linton Camile Nauta, a beloved CPH student and community member, was hit by a truck and killed while out walking their dog Wilson with friend Rune Kubbany on Jan. 17. Wilson was also killed in the accident, and

One Comment

  1. Duane Peterson Duane Peterson Thursday, September 6, 2018

    When President Rossbacher brought in a faux athletic director, the handwriting was on the wall. HSU football was way more than just ‘a team’. Football was a community uniter. Men and women ventured to HSU and our surrounding communities from far different locales because of football. The major ethnic recruiting tool for HSU was football. The Humboldt Bay area benefited from many of the fine young men and women who attended HSU because of football. There is mucho more I could say, but out of char….

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: