Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's time to bring back Cal State Fullerton Football

It’s time to revive football at CSUF. I will admit that I am somewhat biased being an alum (1989) but football is a great way to rally the student body and community at large. Orange County needs a major college football presence. Let's get it done!!!
Here are some excerpts about the subject from the Orange County Register (November 13, 2013)
Cal State Fullerton dismantled its program after the 1992 season, citing budget constraints and poor attendance. Twenty-one years have passed since the elimination of Cal State Fullerton’s program, but agitation for its return persists. Bring Back Titan Football, a committee of former Titan football players and alumni, has been working to resurrect Fullerton’s program since 2007. When asked about the likelihood of bringing back football to Fullerton, CSUF director of athletics Jim Donovan said: “I’ve never ruled it out. I just don’t see it happening in the near future.” He stated the following reasons, referring to Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, which requires gender equity for all educational programs or activities that receive federal funding. It costs about $4 million to $5 million a year to start a Division I football program, Donovan said. It could generate $3 million to $4 million in support, so it would have a net deficit of $1 million to $2 million, he said.
“But the fact is you’d have to start up probably four women’s programs to be equitable in the number of scholarships and opportunities, so that would be another four to five million dollars a year. The total net cost would be in the neighborhood of four to five million, maybe as high as $6 million a year, and we don’t have those funds available right now.” Due to budget constraints, Fullerton’s current sports programs are not fully funded. The university provides approximately 70 percent of the maximum number of scholarships allowed by the NCAA. “Before we start a new sport, we would want to make sure all of our current sports have had the best opportunity and the full funding allowed by NCAA rules for scholarships,” Donovan said. Bring Back Titan Football still remains steadfast in its efforts.
“People tell us it won’t happen in our lifetime and our kids’ lifetime, and that we should give up,” said committee member David Lamm, a former Titan football player. “It does get discouraging sometimes, but unfortunately for those of us who played football, or believe football should be back, it’s hard to give up on.”Over the next few months, the committee will present a plan to administration that estimates the program’s return by 2020 or sooner. They propose to have a student fee investment referendum over the next five years, where each student pays $20 per semester each year. The committee says that would fully fund all of Fullerton’s current sports programs as well as invest in facilities. They propose building a multipurpose arena for athletic and non-athletic events that could potentially generate substantial revenue. Once those objectives are accomplished, the committee believes bringing back a football team at the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) Division I-AA level would be feasible. Division I-AA is less expensive than the top division, FBS Division I-A. Fullerton would compete in the Big Sky Conference while the rest of the university’s teams remain in the Big West. UC Davis and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo exemplify that model. The committee also aims to raise awareness among Fullerton students, encouraging them to get involved in bringing back the program. The committee’s website and Facebook provide information on former Fullerton teams, players and coaches.
“We want to keep the history and the legacy of Titan football alive,” said committee member and former Titan football player Danny Pasquil. “A lot of current students don’t even know we had a team.” Mark Collins, a Fullerton cornerback from 1982 to ‘85 and a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New York Giants, laments on the loss of his former team. “In the pros, one of the things you do on a travel day for a Sunday or Monday game is you always check to see how your college team did,” Collins said. “Since that opportunity wasn’t given to me, or taken away from me basically, it was tough to deal with.” Though Cal State Fullerton seeks a Division I team, Chapman, the only NCAA program left in Orange County, has thrived in Division III. Whether or not Cal State Fullerton is able to overcome its own budget issues remains to be seen, but Bring Back Titan Football will continue to fight.
It’s time to bring football back to Fullerton. GO TITANS!!!
Please visit for more information.
CSUF Football Stats -
Years: 1970-1992
Overall program record: 107-150-3
1984: National Top 20 ranking, 11-1 record, and Pacific Coast Athletic Association Championship
Largest home crowd: 60,415 at Los Angeles Coliseum vs. Grambling State in 1971
Coach Gene Murphy, 1980-92: two conference championships (2nd place finish four times), 1983 California Bowl in Fresno
Titans in the Pro’s: Defensive back Mark Collins (two Super Bowl rings, 13 NFL seasons); Canadian Football League Hall of Famers running back Mike Pringle and quarterback Damon Allen; and Steve Mariucci, former head coach San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions.

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