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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Football Returns to UVM!

So I’m driving home from Seven Days on Tuesday evening. Another weekly "Inside Track" miracle in the can. Heading south along Prospect Street and I’m cruising past the Redstone Campus. It’s about 7 p.m.  and a beautiful Burlington sunset.

Uvm_football_2007 Had noticed the UVM students returning to the apartment blocks around downtown over the past couple days. It goes with the season. But I was not prepared for what I saw on the big lawn of Redstone - a football team practicing - a college football team!

See, there hasn’t been a college football team at UVM since 1974 - that’s before the college students of the present were even conceived, yet alone born.

Had to check it out. Was it a mirage?


It was one of the very first practices of the UVM Club Football Team. Yes, University of Vermont football!

They’re playing in a semi-pro league and have an 8-game schedule...and a website. First game is Saturday in Manchester, VT against the Northern Berkshire Kings.

Some have previous college football experience, said injured tailback Dustin Degree, who played a season at Norwich. And some, said Dustin, the team spokesman, have never played organized football before.

Home games will be played at Buck Hard Field at Burlington High School.

The team will practice at Redstone and on the UVM Rugby Field.

One day - the Catamount Coliseum?

Something about seeing these guys in pads and helmets smacking into one another at Redstone made this old dog feel like a miracle was happening before his eyes.

UVM football. Wow!


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And it's about time. But it should have been expected given the background of the current President. One would have to think that barring any "problems" UVM will have DI-AA football in a few years.

That will be fun.


Please! UVM will not have Division I-AA football in a few years, or a few decades. It's just not going to happen unless some alum walks into Bob Corran's office with a check for $50-million. Then, and only then, will the University even think about it.

It's nice to dream, but it's not going to happen.


And why should we even want UVM to spend resources on a football team? The wickedly corrupt NCAA system of football and basketball programs turns colleges into football and basketball institutions with a few academic classes thrown in so they can still call themselves "colleges." And where athletes are coddled and skip classes, and given cars and given tutors who actually take their tests for them. And where the coach of the football team or the basketball team calls all the shots, not the presidents or the deans of the college. And where the "student athletes" do not learn anything. Disgraceful. UVM should want to participate in this charade?


While I would agree that there are institutions involved in NCAA athletics that are corrupt, it's important to point out that there are many colleges where competitive athletics co-exist with education. Thousands of UVM athletes have proudly excelled on the field, in the class room and in our communities. I have no doubt that a football team at UVM would benefit all of these constituencies more than it would cost them. GO CATS GO! Thanks President Fogel for turning UVM around.
A proud graduate of UVM,
Jason Farrell
Class of 2000.


And why should we have academics at colleges either. I mean there have been a number of scientists right at UVM that have been caught intentionally distorting there findings to keep the grant dollars coming in giving the athletes at UVM a bad name. How embarrassing for them to have to hear the chants and taunting that went on when they were found to be going to a school of academic frauds. It just isn't fair to distract college students from their athletics like that.

Point being that there are cheaters everywhere. Just because sports are elevated to higher plateau then academics in this country doesn't mean the cheating in sports is worse then it is everywhere else. We are a win at all cost society. i.e. Corporate scandals (Enron, Tyco, Martha and so on) Academic scandals (UVM just two years ago), Health Care (Fletcher Allen, for a damn garage no less), Political (too many to list) and yes Sports (Tour De Cheat, Bonds, and the infamous test for Georgia Basketball players where the questions were, and I'm not making this up, how many points do you get for a three pointer?). Every faucet of our society has cheaters but it doesn't stop us form trying to make whichever the institution is better. A football team adds prestige to the college and is an excellent recruiting tool for students. There are many students that want to go to a school that has a football team. If it helps bring in the brightest or helps to retain solid Vermont students then it is worth it.

As for the 50 million-dollar gift, that is just around the corner. There are plenty of wealthy, very wealthy folks that are graduates of UVM that will see the value of a Football team and will proudly donate. 3-5 years there will be football at UVM. One caveat, if Fogel is still the President.


There are also some UVM alums who will never give a dime to UVM as long as Fogel is still in charge. When will the people of Burlington wake up and realize what is happening in their city? There is no room for all the extra students UVM is adding in order to pad Fogel's resume--and enough dorm space is not in the plans. A new stadium, however, bring it on. Puh-leeze. The focus should be on solid academics and educating Vermont students first, not higher-paying out-of-state students. And certainly not on adding more football and hockey players to the mix, at the expense of serious students.


Hey! Why the hell should we spend any money on you inbred, flannel-wearing Vermonters? I'm gonna keep that out of state money flowing in. It is a BLAST watching the yuppie kidlets goofing on the locals!


well i hope that UVM will someday have a football program again!! the only state U not to have a team what is up with that??
Fogel is an asshole and i doubt he is behind this move..i hope his resume is attractive to someone somewhere and he goes on his way..he has worn out his welcome in VT!!
i do hope that UVM does get a team even if it is on a lower level..many colleges are now addding football and the response has been overwhelming by students and alumni..why not UVM??

F. Frederson

I hope UVM stays away from football. Read Murry Sperber's Beer and Circus: How Big-time College Sports Is Crippling Undergraduate Education for a excellent description of the twisted dynamics behind big-time college sports. I also went to VT - the one that enrolled Michael Vick for a time - and I have talked to TAs that wrote papers for the athletes. The culture surrounding these athletes - the violence, the flashy cars rolling up to the jock dorms, the deceitful academics - is not something UVM or its students should wish upon themselves.


Hear, hear. Howabout we take pride in the fact that UVM DOESN'T have a football team, and focus on academics instead?


If you really want to know what Fogel and all his VP's have done to UVM, ask someone who works there.


Maybe 'someone who works there' could talk to Peter Freyne about it. It's not going to be reported in the Free Press or WCAX(GOP). How about starting with people on the Board of Trustees with conflicts of interest, e.g. Pizzagalli, who profits from the crazy expansion on the hill.


Should football as a sport at UVM in the athletic department, as opposed to at the club level, ever get close to becoming a reality, I suspect the challenge will be to overcome the proportionality test rules of Title IX. In order to offset the 70-90 men that would be on a football team UVM would need to find roster spots for an equal (approximately) number of women. Without adding a number of women's teams the math does not work. And since recent athletic department policy at UVM has been to cut teams rather than to add teams, without a major influx of dollars and facilities-far beyond what is required for a football team alone-football will be a club sport at UVM for the foreseeable future.

Football is the 3-headed monster of NCAA sports. By having football as a club sport UVM avoids many of the problems associated with college football while still providing a competitive outlet for those students who want to play the sport. Enjoy the games-and good luck to the UVM club team!


I could live with that. But you know what happens . . . No sooner does the club team get underway than the players and coaches start clamoring for a varsity team.


hey, something I can lay into "vermonter" over. I was starting to get worried. That fact that UVM is the only State University without a football program is disgraceful.


hey, something I can lay into "vermonter" over. I was starting to get worried. That fact that UVM is the only State University without a football program is disgraceful.


No, it's a source of pride. What's disgraceful is the corruption of the NCAA, and the so-called "students" in the football and basketball programs, and the coaches who run the universities.


bunk. I knew there was something wrong with you. And who the hell is under the delusion that Vermont would ever field a I-A team. I-AA or Division II at best. Middlebury and Norwich have teams for crying out loud. There is no reason why UVM can't field a I-AA or Div II team. Period. Shameful. Quess we should get rid of the Baseball, Men's and womens Basketball and Both the Hockey teams while we are at it. Oh, I forgot the lacrosse and Soccer teams while we are at it.


And title IX is and absolute farce. How many mens baseball programs (and others)have had to be cut so some school in Arizona could have a women's crew team. Please!


Who said anything about getting rid of existing teams? You did.

The question of adding another NCAA program is not the same as cutting existing ones. You;re the only one raising that subject.

And Title IX is NOT a farce. What's "farcical" about equality in women's college sports programs?


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