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A Proposal For Non-Scholarship Division I-AA Football at the University of New Orleans

It is well within the capability of the University of New Orleans to bring to UNO students, alumni and the Louisiana sports scene, on-campus Saturday night college football played outdoors on real grass between teams made up of real student athletes in a stadium in which alcoholic beverages can be sold. College football the way it was meant to be played, the way it used to be played, the way it still is played on many campuses around the country.

The University of New Orleans can and should establish a Division I-AA non-scholarship football program on the campus of the University of New Orleans. This statement could not have been made even two years ago. Since then, several things have occurred which have changed the landscape.

The TOPS program instituted two years ago provides scholarships for average students. Louisiana high school graduates with a 2.5 GPA in essential subjects who score at or above the state average on the ACT (20) can get full tuition at state colleges. Prospective student athletes who want to play football for UNO and who are average students or better will have their tuition paid by the TOPS program. Because of the new rules put in place last year by the NCAA regarding student athletes' ability to work, football players will have the opportunity , if they choose, to earn money to pay for room and board or tuition if they don't qualify for the TOPS program. In any event, the cost of attending UNO is relatively inexpensive and would not be a deterrent to anyone who wants to play football at this level. There are many I-AA football programs around the country which are manned by student athletes who gladly pay more than $2,500 a year in tuition in order to compete (Jacksonville $14,420; LaSalle $16,000; Louisiana College $6,930; Dayton $14,670; Georgetown $22,446; University of San Diego $16,575 - see pgs. 13-15, 17, 19 & 24). In fact, all non-preference, non-scholarship I-AA football programs are manned by football players who pay their own way.


Another change that has taken place over the last couple of years is that Tulane no longer plays football games on Saturday nights and LSU now regularly plays some home games during the day to accommodate television.

On campus football at UNO would bring school spirit, enthusiasm and excitement to UNO and create the collegiate atmosphere that has always been missing. There is no question that it would also result in increased applications. A recurrent theme wherever non-scholarship football is instituted is that those schools experience increased applications. (See Louisiana College, Jacksonville, SUNY at Stony Brook, University of San Diego, Austin Peay, Dayton and LaSalle pgs.13-15, 17, 20-21 & 24).

"While investigating whether it made sense to bring back football, Lee (Dr. Rory Lee, President, Louisiana College) found that it also made dollars, even though there would be no money from television and Louisiana College's games would not be attended by throngs. Schools that had added football in recent years had seen an increased in enrollment." (New Orleans Times Picayune, December 9, 1998, pg D-5)

"Said Louisiana College Athletic Director Randy Dietz: '(Adding football) has a track record of increased enrollment at every school we looked at." (New Orleans Times Picayune)

On campus football would result in six or seven opportunities each fall to bring alumni back to the main campus. It is submitted that there is no vehicle that can bring alumni back to the campus, enthusiasm to the student body and raise applications as effectively as football on the main campus of the University of New Orleans.

The above statement explains why UNO should establish a Division I-AA non-scholarship football program. The remainder of this proposal will discuss the who, what, when and how of UNO football. This proposal is based upon


discussions with athletic directors, head coaches and other personnel from Jacksonville University, Louisiana College, University of Dayton, University of San Diego, Georgetown, Austin Peay University, State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, Yale University, LaSalle University and the University of Mobile.

How much will a I-AA non-preference, non-scholarship football program at UNO cost?

$500,000 a year would comfortably cover the costs of maintaining a Division I-AA non-preference, non-scholarship football program at UNO. This is neither a minimum figure nor a maximum figure. The budgets of the schools studied ranged from a low of $150,000 per year to a high of between $900,000 and $1.1 million per year. The budgets for the schools cited in this proposal are as follows:

These budgets encompass, with minor exceptions (see individual school summaries), all aspects of maintaining I-AA non-preference, non-scholarship football including recruiting, travel, equipment, equipment maintenance, field maintenance, game guarantees, coaches' salaries, insurance, game management, office supplies and expenses, athletic supplies, film editing equipment, conference dues, meals, contract services, field rental and administrative.


The start up cost for LaSalle University which revived its football program two years ago was $200,000. Athletic Director Tom Seitz of Jacksonville University which began its program a couple of years ago said that a "ballpark" start up cost would be $300,000. Louisiana College will begin a Division III non-scholarship program next year and has a two year budget including start up costs and maintenance of the football program of $860,000. Start up costs do not include capital expenditures such as a football stadium.

How will football be funded?

It is suggested that the football program should be funded by a $50 increase in the student activity fee to be voted on by the student body. If passed by the students, a student ID card would serve as a student's ticket to all football games. The student population is approximately 15,500 including full time, part time and graduate students. This would bring approximately $775,000 into the program. Tuition ($2,500 a year) from 100 football player student athletes who would not be attending UNO if not for the football program would bring in another $250,000. Most of the schools studied fund their football programs with tuition paid by football players who, presumably, would not be there without football. Most of the schools that do this are private schools which have higher tuition than UNO.

Ticket sales would be another source of funding. Examples of ticket prices at schools which compete in Division I-AA non-preference, non-scholarship football are as follows:

Dayton realizes $150,000 a year from ticket sales; Jacksonville brings in $50,000 to $60,000 per year from ticket sales; San Diego collects $25,000 a year and


LaSalle makes $5,000 a game. Dayton averages about 7,000 fans per game which ranks it 51st or about mid-range for I-AA non-scholarship football programs. Brown University averages 6,000 per game, Harvard 7,000, Yale 15,000 and Princeton 24,000. Alumni contributions generated by the football program would be another source of funding. All of these sources of funding combined would put revenues conservatively in the neighborhood of $1 million per year.

What about Title IX?

Title IX will not be an obstacle to UNO football, financially or otherwise. In fact it may even be helpful.

In order to address the Title IX issue, an understanding of Title IX and UNO's responsibilities under same, once football is established is required. Please see Cohen v Brown University 991 F 2d 888, 893-898 (1st Cir. 1993) in which the First Circuit Court of Appeals discusses the history, scope, statutory and regulatory framework of Title IX (pg. 25).

The first point to be made is that equal opportunity to participate lies at the core of Title IX's purpose. Equality of expenditure and equality in numbers is not required (Cohen pg. 896 note 9, pg. 897). Title IX does not mandate strict numerical equality between the gender balance of a college’s athletic program and the gender balance of its student body (Cohen pg. 894). What it does mandate is that a university effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of members of both sexes (Cohen pg. 896-897).

The key point to understand is that there is a three - prong test under which UNO must meet at least one of the three prongs in order to adhere to Title IX requirements. That test is as follows:

(1)Whether intercollegiate level participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments; or


(2)Where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among the intercollegiate athletes, whether the institution can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion which is demonstrably responsive to the developing interest and abilities of the members of that sex; or

(3)Where the members of one sex, are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, and the institution cannot show a continuing practice of program expansion such as that cited above, whether it can be demonstrated that the interests and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program (pg. 897 Cohen).

It is unlikely that the athletic programs of many co-educational universities reflect the gender balance of their student bodies. Moreover, given economic constraints, it is difficult for universities to expand athletic opportunities today. As a result, more often than not, schools meet the above test by satisfying the interests and abilities of the underrepresented gender, i.e. by meeting the third prong of the test. Furthermore, even when male athletic opportunities outnumber female athletic opportunities, and a university has not met the first prong (substantial statistical proportionality) or the second prong (continuing program expansion), the mere fact that there are some female students interested in a sport does not ipso facto require the school to provide a varsity team in order to comply with the third prong. Rather, the institution can satisfy the third prong by insuring participatory opportunities at the intercollegiate level when, and to the extent that, there is sufficient interest and ability among the members of the excluded sex to sustain a viable team and a reasonable expectation of intercollegiate competition for that team (Cohen pg.. 898).

It should also be pointed out that the burden of proof is not on the university to prove that it has met at least one of the three prongs of this test. The burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that a university has not met at least one of the three prongs of the accommodation test. (Cohen pg. 903-904, see also Roberts v. Colorado State Board of Agriculture 998 F 2d 824 (10th Cir. 1993), pg.831). Moreover, this burden is heavier on plaintiffs who want to establish a new team than it would be on plaintiffs who are on an existing team which has been eliminated (Cohen pg. 904, Roberts pg.832).


The bottom line is that the purpose of Title IX is to ensure equal opportunity to participate. It does not require equality of expenditure or equality in numbers. It requires only that a university effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of the members of both sexes.

"...[I]f a school has a student body in which one sex is demonstrably less interested in athletics, Title IX does not require that the school create teams for, or rain money upon otherwise disinterested students; rather, the third benchmark is satisfied if the underrepresented sex's discernable interests are fully and effectively accommodated." (pg. 898 Cohen).

Norma V. Cantu, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education recently wrote in the July 30, 1999 issue of the Wall Street Journal:

"...[M]ore than two thirds of the schools reviewed by the OCR complied with Title IX by showing that they had a history and continuing practice of expanding opportunities for the underrepresented sex, or by insuring that the interests and abilities of women are fully met. In other words, if women's underrepresentation is due to lack of interest, not discrimination, a school does not have to create additional opportunities for women. A college or university can comply with Title IX even if men receive significantly more athletic opportunities than women."

Assuming that UNO established a Division I-AA non-scholarship football program based on the funding sources outlined above, it is submitted that UNO could also financially accommodate a non-scholarship women's soccer program which would compete as an Independent, if female students should demonstrate an interest and ability in intercollegiate soccer.

The TOPS program would provide the same scholarship help for women's soccer as it would for football. The new rules regarding student athletes' ability


to work would apply to women's soccer just as it would in football. As an Independent, a UNO women's soccer team could play a schedule that would minimize travel expense and generate local interest. A possible schedule might be along the lines of the following:

If a stadium facility is erected on campus for football, it could also be utilized for women's soccer. Loyola maintains a non-scholarship women's soccer program at a cost of $24,000 per year; $12,000 goes to operational costs and $ l2,000 goes to a part time coach. The University of Mobile divides eight full scholarships among twenty players and has an operational budget of $25,000 per year and a coach's salary which is in the low to mid $30,000 per year range. $13,000 of the $25,000 operational budget at Mobile goes to travel (Mobile travels as far as Kentucky and Georgia).

In conclusion, Title IX would not be an obstacle to UNO football. It could even be helpful in supplying another reason to erect a football stadium.

Where will UNO play?

The key to making football a success at UNO is that UNO play its home games on the main campus. It is the key because UNO's mission in establishing a Division I-AA non-scholarship football program is to create enthusiasm in the UNO alumni community and to bring school spirit and a collegiate atmosphere to


the UNO student body. This necessarily means bringing UNO alumni back to the main campus six or seven times a year in the fall and keeping UNO students - the future alumni - on campus.

It is suggested that UNO should erect an 8,000 seat horseshoe football stadium near the "smokestack" on the main campus. Although an exact figure for the cost of same is not within the purview of this proposal, the following information has been assembled. Aluminum bench seating atop steel I-beam construction for an 8,000 seat stadium would cost between 1.5 million and 2.5 million dollars depending on whether there would be any special seating over and above aluminum benches and depending on the extent of pile driving work. The cost would include all material, steel, aluminum, concrete footing for steel and installation. The final product would be a "turn key" system of grand stands to sit in with open space underneath and with no brick facade. A "split face" cinder block facade will cost approximately 20% more than a cinder block facade. It will cost approximately $3,000 to $3,500 to obtain an exact figure on a total cost of constructing a stadium of this type including football field, stadium lights and bathroom and locker room facilities.

After one time start up costs in its first year, UNO would have approximately $500,000 a year (supra) for Title IX obligations and capital projects. In addition, a stadium would bring income of its own each year in the form of rentals and concessions. The cost of renting a football stadium for home games would, of course, be saved. Furthermore, the stadium costs and the Title IX obligations would not be entirely separate expenses. The stadium could be used for women's soccer if women student athletes demonstrate an interest and ability in intercollegiate soccer. Finally, Governor Foster in the past has shown that he looks more favorably upon projects in which the recipient matches state dollars. UNO should explore that avenue as it relates to a football stadium.


Where will UNO get the players to field a team?

All sources agree that finding student athletes who want to play football on the I-AA level will not be a problem. An increasing number of high school players want to continue playing even on a non-scholarship basis. Per capita, Louisiana is among the nation's leaders in providing Division I football players. High school football in the state has a national reputation for being well played and well coached. Tim Wabler, senior associate athletic director at the University of Dayton points out that the 85 scholarship limit has squeezed I-A programs so that Dayton has better players than it did just ten years ago.

Who will UNO play?

If a university competes in Division I in any sport, then it must compete in either Division I-A or Division I-AA in every sport. Since UNO competes in Division I in basketball and baseball, then it must compete in either Division I-A or Division I-AA in football. Louisiana College is establishing a Division III football program because it does not compete in Division I in any other sport.

There are three types of programs in Division I-AA: 1) scholarship; 2) non-scholarship with preferred packaging and 3) non-preference, non-scholarship.

Nicholls State, Western Kentucky, South Florida and Samford are examples of Division I-AA scholarship football programs. These schools are allowed up to 65 scholarships. A non-scholarship I-AA football program with preferred packaging means that although the university does not award athletic scholarships for football, football players do receive special help from the financial aid office. In a non-preference, non-scholarship I-AA football program, football players are not given a preference in non-athletic scholarships or other financial aid over students who do not play football. Nevertheless, football players are still eligible for the same


scholarships other students receive including TOPS program scholarships, federal aid such as Pell grants, and other academic aid.

It is suggested that UNO initially establish a Division I-AA non-preference, non-scholarship football program. Schools that compete on this level include the Ivy League, Northeast Conference, Metro Atlantic Conference (including teams such as Georgetown, Duquesne, St. John's and LaSalle), Pioneer Conference (including Dayton, San Diego, Valparaiso and Drake) and Independents such as Jacksonville and Austin Peay. UNO would also be free to play teams such as Nicholls State, VMI, The Citadel, Holy Cross and Fordham which are either I-AA scholarship programs or non-scholarship with preference packaging. UNO could also play Louisiana College, a Division III team.

There is a good possibility that UNO could count on playing Ivy League teams based on the experience of the University of San Diego. San Diego will play Yale this year (1999) on October 2 at San Diego and plans on playing Brown University in the future. Tom Iannacone, athletic director at the University of San Diego says that Yale looks at San Diego as a recruiting tool. San Diego will play Yale on a home and home basis with San Diego guaranteeing Yale $5,000 this year and Yale guaranteeing San Diego $5,000 - $10,000 when San Diego goes to Yale. It costs the University of San Diego $30,000 to go to Yale. It is submitted that New Orleans is half as far from Yale as San Diego and that New Orleans is at least as strong a recruiting tool as San Diego. Furthermore, UNO has played a number of Ivy League teams in basketball during the 90's (Harvard 96-97 season; Princeton 94-95 season, Brown 91-92 season and 98-99 season, Columbia 90-92 season and Dartmouth 92-93). It is suggested that UNO compete as an Independent. A possible schedule might be along the lines of the following:




When should UNO play?

It has been almost thirty years since New Orleans' sports fans have enjoyed on campus college football played outdoors on real grass on a Saturday night. For almost that many years Tulane has played off campus, indoors, on plastic grass and now plays in the afternoon. LSU plays on campus, on real grass, outdoors on some Saturday nights but LSU fans aren't allowed to drink adult beverages in the stadium and the games are played in Baton Rouge. Moreover, the truth is that for the most part neither LSU nor Tulane field teams of real student athletes. There is a void in the New Orleans' sports scene and UNO has the opportunity to fill that void.

Genuine tailgating (no one really tailgates at the Superdome), post game celebrations and entertainment on the lakefront - the possibilities are limitless. If UNO established a football program it should play its home games on Saturday nights on the main campus of the University of New Orleans.


UNO would not make a lot of money with a Division I-AA non-scholarship program - but it wouldn't lose money. The real purpose of a football program wou1d be to bring school spirit, enthusiasm and pride to UNO and its alumni and create the collegiate atmosphere that has always been missing. By-products of football would be increased applications and greater alumni involvement and donations. It is only through football that UNO can accomplish all these goals. UNO has a unique opportunity to accomplish all of this and bring something to the New Orleans sports scene that has been missing for too long - on campus Saturday night college football played outdoors on real grass between teams made up of real student athletes. UNO should make the most of this opportunity.

LSUNO 1972
September, 1999



LOCATION:Jacksonville, Florida
COACHING STAFF:Head coach, 3 full time; 1 part time; volunteers
HOME GAME LOCATION:5,000 seat on campus stadium
FUNDING SOURCE:1) 100 football player student athletes pay $14,420 each for tuition/fees
2) $50,000-$60,000 year ticket sales revenue
OF FOOTBALL:Increased applications resulting from 100 football players
plus increased student applications in general
TITLE IX:Revenues from new football students goes to women's sports
CONTACT:Tom Seitz - Jacksonville AD; 800-583-4671
Began football last year



LOCATION:Pineville, Louisiana
BUDGET:2 year budget of $860,000/year
FUNDING SOURCE:Tuition funds program - 70 players is break even point
OF FOOTBALL:Increased applications resulting from football over and above football
players. Increase of 106 students last year and 206 this year (Division III)
CONFERENCE AFFILIATION:American Southwest Conference - Division III
CONTACT:Randy Dietz - 318-487-7131; would like to play UNO



LOCATION:Dayton, Ohio
BUDGET:$250,000 non-payroll budget (includes rental
of stadium); $175,000-$200,000 coaches salaries
COACHING STAFF:Head coach, 3 full time assistants; 6 part time assistants;
undergraduate assistants
HOME GAME LOCATION:Rent off campus stadium
FUNDING SOURCE:1) Football players pay $19,000 each tuition/fees, room and board
2) $150,000 ticket sales - they "market the hell out of football";
average 7,000 at home games; tickets $6.00 -$10.00 each.
51st (mid range for I-AA attendance) in attendance
TITLE IX:Complying with Title IX brings overall cost of football to
$750,000/year. Title IX requires equal amount put into women's
sports, i.e., equal number athletes and equal expenditure.*

*The writer disagrees with this assessment of the requirements of Title IX. See Section 4 of this proposal entitled "What about Title IX?"


IN SPITE OF COST:1)Attracts upper middle class white male
2) Adds to overall college atmosphere
3)85 scholarships limit squeezed I-A programs so that Dayton
has better players than it did 10 years ago
CONTACT:Tim Wabler - Senior Associate AD. Would like to play UNO



LOCATION:San Diego, California
BUDGET:$400,000 ($225,000 non-payroll; $165,000
coaches + 2 student assistants
COACHING STAFF:Head coach, 2 full time coordinators; 7 part time coaches
cost $25,000. Salaries are what fits your institution
HOME GAME LOCATION:On campus 3,000 seat stadium; plan to expand to 8,000
seat stadium which will also accomodate men's and women's soccer
FUNDING SOURCE:120 football players pay $16,575 tuition/fees*
$25,000 ticket sales
$20,000 - $30,000 guarantees
$15,000 - $20,000 donations
$60,000 - $75,000 total
TITLE IX:Use 3 prong test; hired consultant
TRAVEL + SCHEDULING:Their travel costs are high given their location
and fact that their league opponents (Drake,
Dayton, Valparaiso and Butler) are located
in Iowa, Ohio and Indiana). San Diego
played a 10 game season last year and will
play 7 home games this year.


They will play Yale this year on October 7, 1999 at San Diego. They will play Brown in the future. He says that the Ivy League looks at San Diego as a recruiting tool.

They will play Yale on a home and home basis. They will guarantee Yale $5,000 this year and Yale will guarantee San Diego $5 - 10,000 when San Diego goes to Yale. It costs San Diego $30,000 to go to Yale. 60 person travel (50 players) squad. More than 50% of games must be played in Division I-AA (geographical waiver: 500 mile radius exception)
OF FOOTBALL:There is no question that it helps male
enrollment and raises applications
INSURANCE:This is part of the non-payroll budget. Insurance
is a little higher, but not much higher, for
high risk sports such as football. A
personal injury policy for each athlete
for injury and illness keeps San Diego
premiums down. San Diego has an excess policy with a $5,000 deductible. NCAA
supplies catastrophic insurance.
PLAYERS:There is a lot of turnover in non-scholarship
football. A freshman/sophomore team keeps
players involved.
CONTACT:Tom Iannacone - AD 619-260-4803



LOCATION:Washington, D.C.
BUDGET:Less than $300,000/year
COACHING STAFF:2 full time; 7 part time
HOME GAME LOCATION:2,000 seat on campus football field
CONFERENCE AFFILIATION:Metro Atlantic. Georgetown is 19-2 in
Metro Atlantic the last 3 seasons. They have
been I-AA since they had to switch from
Division III in early '90s.
CONTACT:Dennis Kanach - Sr. Associate AD



LOCATION:Clarksville, Tennessee
TUITION/FEES:$2,280 - public school
BUDGET:$130,000 - non payroll. Coach salaries and
recruiting not included in this figure
TRAVEL:Travel is estimated to be $40,000 of the
$130,000 non payroll budget. In 1999 Austin
Peay will play 6 away games. Travel squad
includes 52 players
OF FOOTBALL:"Our recruiting efforst have increased the
revenue that Austin Peay University brings
in each fall. When classes start in August,
our staff will have attracted approximately 80
student athletes who are paying to attend
school here." There are approximately 98
players on the team.
CONTACT:Bill Schmitz, head coach, 931-648-7903. He
is interested in head coach job at UNO.



LOCATION:Stony Brook, New York
TUITION/FEES:$3,970 - public
BUDGET:Under $300,000 (+ $40,000 to $50,000 in
preference packages)
COACHING STAFF:Head coach + 3 full time assistants; 4
graduate assistants at $6,500 each + tuition;
2 part time coaches at $4,500 to $6,500.
Total coach salaries come to $200,000
HOME GAME LOCATION:7,500 seat stadium
TICKET PRICES:$5.00/$6.00 for public; students free
OF FOOTBALL:1) Brings alumni back at homecoming
2) Gives students on campus something
to rally around
3) Generates 100 male student athletes
4) Student life, alumni involvement,
camaraderie, weekends on campus
"can't be measured financially"
CONTACT:Sam Kornhausen. Would like to play UNO.
San Diego is a recruiting tool for Stony Brook.


*Preference non-scholarship program. This is Stony Brook's first year in Division I-AA. It previously competed in Division II.



LOCATION:New Haven, Connecticut
BUDGET:$400,000 - $500,000 operating costs*
$500,000 - $600,000 coach's salaries
$900,000 - $1,100,000 total budget
COACHING STAFF:Head coach, 5 full time assistants; 6
part time assistants.
HOME GAMES:Yale Bowl (capacity 63,000); average
15,000/game last year, general admission -
$5.00; sideline reserves - $7.00; premium
reserves - $13.00
RECRUITING:They spend just under $100,000/year which
is 2-3 times as much as regular I-AA program.
There is no guarantee that the recruit will be
accepted academically. They lost 1/2 recruits
who go to scholarship institutions
TRAVEL:They will play at San Diego this year.
CONTACT:Barbara Chessler - 203-432-1435

* Maintenance of field is separate



LOCATION:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
BUDGET:$150,000 + insurance (catastrophe insurance
already in place for NCAA schools)
COACHING STAFF:Head coach, 8 part time assistants, $55,000
for entire staff is included in $150,000 budget
HOME GAME LOCATION:8,000 seat stadium
FUNDING SOURCE:1) School funds program
2) $5,000/game cash flow
OF FOOTBALL:Increased male enrollment and enrollment in
general. Female students wanted to go to
a school that had football.
CONFERENCE AFFILIATION:Metro Atlantic. This is LaSalle's first year
in Metro Atlantic and its third season since
reviving its program.
TEAM:Close to 200 players. 25 walked on the first
year, 100 in 2nd year and 50 the third year.


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