Faculty, Students Urge That EMU Drop Football

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

CBS Sports: “Faculty, Students Want Eastern Michigan to Drop Division I Football

NBC Sports: “Faculty and Students Call for Eastern Michigan to Drop DI Football.”

FOX Sports: “Eastern Michigan’s Faculty Suggests the School Cut Football: Why It Might Be Time to Say Good-Bye to Major College Football at One FBS School

Yahoo Sports: “Eastern Michigan Students and Faculty Propose Dropping out of D-I”

MLive: “EMU AD Lyke: ‘No Question’ Football Must Improve, Wants to Stay In MAC

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

 

Chart--MAC Attendance

EMU's Gray Football Field

Few fans turned up to brave the icy weather during the Eagles football game against Northern Illinois at EMU's Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Mich. on Nov. 26, 2010. Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com

Few fans turned up to brave the icy weather during the Eagles football game against Northern Illinois at EMU’s Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti, Mich. on Nov. 26, 2010. Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com

Fan watch Eastern Michigan University take on Akron during a game Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles beat the Akron Zips 31 to 23. Joseph Tobianski I AnnArbor.com

Fan watch Eastern Michigan University take on Akron during a game Rynearson Stadium in Ypsilanti on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles beat the Akron Zips 31 to 23.
Joseph Tobianski I AnnArbor.com

EMU vs Army

EMU vs. Army

EMU vs BGSU

EMU vs. BGSU

EMU 3

 

2 thoughts on “Faculty, Students Urge That EMU Drop Football

  1. Sad to hear but it makes sense and is probably long overdue. EMU was one of the only FBS schools that recruited me years ago but I was shocked by how empty the stadium was and there was not passion or even interest in football on campus. Not that I was going to go there anyway but it was still surprising to see such little interest.

Your comments are welcome. They must be relevant to the topic at hand and must not contain advertisements, degrade others, or violate laws or considerations of privacy. We encourage the use of your real name, but do not prohibit pseudonyms as long as you don't impersonate a real person.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s