Still, while the vote is a merely a first step, it is a significant first step, one that could have ramifications beyond the football field.
Academics represent the foundation of a university, but athletic programs add prestige, and prestige, in turn, enhances academics, creating a positive, vibrant cycle.
Football programs also help attract students from beyond the area, a phenomenon that could help UTSA grow from a commuter school to a higher tier university.
Yup, all those kids want to get into Rice because of its football team. And everyone knows what the football team has done for Harvard’s prestige and it’s ability to attract students from across the country.
Certainly a football team can help strengthen the sense of community among the student body. That, in of itself, is a good thing. But as far as growing into a “higher tier university,” the students could have taken the same money and spent it on National Merit Scholars and really reached a higher tier in the ways that matter.
But no one pays to watch National Merit Scholars work, do they? If a school wants a football team, fine. Just spare us the academic justifications for the program. Oh wait, I forget, we’re in Texas. Never mind.