Here are the opening paragraphs of an article by Martin Slagter on the Michigan Live website:
“Howard Bunsis is keeping the heat on Eastern Michigan University, recommending the school drop Division I football and join the Horizon League.
“Bunsis, accounting professor and treasurer of the EMU-AAUP, suggested the university consider making the switch during Friday’s Board of Regents meeting, in the wake of HBO’s airing of “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” last week, which shined an unpleasant national spotlight on the university’s funding of its athletic department.
“Bunsis pointed to the fact that EMU must subsidize 80 percent of its budget, or around $27 million of the $33.9 million it spent in 2014-15–-the highest percentage of any school in the Mid-American Conference–-according to data provided recently by USA Today.
“’Culturally and geographically, EMU football will simply never succeed from an attendance and financial standpoint,’ he said during his remarks to the board. ‘It is a losing proposition–-always has been, and always will be. We hardly raise any money for football, and our attendance is the lowest in the country.’”
Slagter’s complete article is available at: http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2016/04/emu_faculty_students_support_d.html
Further coverage of the topic has been provided by the Detroit Free Press. In an article by David Jesse, Howard is quoted at somewhat greater length, and more attention is given to a report produced by the faculty at EMU:
“Eastern Michigan University should drop out of Division I football and find a different league for its other sports, all in order to save students money, a new report issued by the university’s faculty and students says.
“’Culturally and geographically, EMU football will simply never succeed from an attendance and financial standpoint,’ faculty member Howard Bunsis, who helped prepare the report, said in a presentation to the Board of Regents on Friday. ‘It is a losing proposition—always has been, and always will be. We hardly raise any money for football, and our attendance is the lowest in the country. Some of you believe that we are close to succeeding, if we just throw more money at the situation. This proposition is insane.
“’This has nothing to do with our performance on the field, or the quality of our coaches. Our coaches are good people and dedicated professionals. They are fighting a losing battle that cannot be won. Each and every one of you needs to reassess why you are here; if you have any sense of what is right for EMU, you will drop EMU from Division I football as soon as possible. How can you sit there and justify throwing millions of dollars away?”
“Getting rid of Division I football is a moral imperative–-it will save students money and lower student debt, the report said. The report also found that each student paid $917 out of pocket to support athletics at Eastern. ‘Should the university be saddling students with unnecessary debt for athletics programs that added little to no value to their education?’ the report says.
“The answer, at least according to the faculty and student government, is no. But the report doesn’t argue for Eastern to completely withdraw from sports.”
Jesse’s complete article is available at: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/04/25/emu-faculty-students-drop-out-division-football/83493156/.
Laura Markwardt in the AAUP national office has provided the following links to additional media coverage of the story:
Inside Higher Ed: “Eastern Michigan Urged to Drop DI Football”
Yahoo Sports: “Eastern Michigan Students and Faculty Propose Dropping out of D-I”
Tampa Bay Blogs: “Why Eastern Michigan Football’s Future Matters in Tampa Bay”
University Herald: “HBO Real Sports Features Funding Issues in Eastern Michigan University Athletics”
EMU vs. Army
EMU vs. BGSU