JUSTIN THRIFTEditorial Page Editor
St. John’s is a university steeped in athletic tradition. The volleyball, tennis, fencing, baseball and lacrosse teams have all experienced some form of national success in past and recent years. Last year, the St. John’s men’s soccer team earned one of the best records in the country, making it all the way to the Final Four and finishing the season ranked as the third best team in the nation. And, of course, the basketball program is perhaps one of the biggest contributors to the school’s national recognition. Mention St. John’s to anyone outside of New York State, and they’re sure to recall the school’s Big East success and the glory days of Lou Carnesecca.
It is for this reason alone that it shouldn’t surprise new St. John’s students that the school does not currently, nor will they ever, have a competitive football team.
First of all, the financial backing is simply not a reality. With the immense size of the school’s basketball program, the large-scale media, advertising and sustainability costs that come with it, St. John’s simply could not afford to take on another big team. In addition to the giant cost of running the basketball program, SJU team sports like baseball and soccer are also competing at the highest national collegiate level, and to maintain an additional football program would simply be too much.
The St. John’s athletics and media offices would likely have a difficult time juggling the responsibility that comes with college football in addition to the responsibility they have to all the current teams.
This leads to the next problem involved: the St. John’s athletic landscape is already filled with a substantial cast of Red Storm teams. The University’s current host of sports teams have enough trouble as it is consistently drawing large crowds and student interest; a new football team would only further bury these teams.
As if these reasons weren’t enough to refute any talk of a possible Red Storm football team, the University also lacks the proper facility to host college football. Other Northeast schools with current football programs like Boston College, UCONN, Temple and Syracuse all have football stadiums that can seat thousands – a drastic converse from the seat-less DaSilva Field. If St. John’s were in the process of developing their own football team, a proper facility would have to be erected that could account for the fan’s, media’s and player’s needs.
Once again, the financial reality of this project would prove extremely difficult, especially in the wake of the new $77 million D’Angelo Center, which ironically sits on the old bleachers of DaSilva Field.
All of these factors and realities just do not add up to bringing football to St. John’s. Considering the financial mountain and lack of proper venue, it would be too much to expect a St. John’s football team anytime soon.
Though a football team could bring newfound school pride, entertainment, and joy to football fans on campus, students will have to settle for what they’ve already got: a great college athletic scene with history, variety and top-class athletes.