It doesn’t make sense to have a newly renovated football stadium with no football team of our own to play on it, but that is the case at Cosumnes River College.
In fact, the last time CRC had a football team was in 1978, well before most of us were even thought of. That was when CRC was known as the Chiefs, not the Hawks.
“The Chiefs name was deemed insensitive to Native Americans, so we took campus-wide suggestions and became the Hawks,” Athletic Director Liz Belyea said.
But what happened to our football team?
“There were not enough players to sustain a team,” Belyea said. “Elk Grove was very small then, so they had trouble fielding a competitive football team.”
That was then; This is now. With the expansion of Elk Grove and the rapid growth of college students, finding players to field a new football team would seem like a non-issue.
So what is it exactly going to take?
“Money would likely be a key factor in CRC ever fielding a football team ever again,” said sports information officer Nicholas Podesta. “In order to be in compliance with Title IX, additional sports providing athletic participation for female athletes would also have to be provided by the college.”
Title IX bans sex discrimination in schools, whether it be in athletics or academics.
Fair enough, but just exactly how much money are we talking?
“About $3 million,” Belyea said. “We need more personnel, equipment and facilities.”
“There was not any actual new stadium construction with respect to the football field,” Podesta said. “The project was actually a renovation of the existing facility, that was funded partially through a partnership with the Elk Grove Unified School District.”
Podesta is referring to the local Measure M bond which was passed by voters in 2008. The bond initiated a $14.5 million renovation project of the new sporting facilities at CRC that included the school’s stadium, baseball and softball fields. Along with two new soccer fields and new parking spaces for students.
With the recent success of CRC’s baseball team winning the State Championship, and both the women’s and men’s basketball teams winning their respective tournaments, there is no telling how much success a CRC football team would have or how competitive the team would be.
“Each year, CRC reviews its athletic and intercollegiate team programs to ensure we are serving the needs of our students and community.” CRC President Deborah Travis said.
We many never know. At least not anytime soon as chances to field a new football team to play in the new stadium are slim to none, but that doesn’t mean we will never see a football team again.
“There’s no really telling how much interest a football team would draw today, since there’s little recent history to base an assumption on.” Podesta said.
If you ask students like 20-year-old, sustainable land design and irrigation major, Brock Mallory, the want for a football team is there.
“I feel like if we had a football team I would definitely be on campus more to attend sporting events,” Mallory said. “I think football is the most interesting sport.”
Maybe, just maybe, there is a chance that one year there will be a football team in high demand by other students like Mallory and the community.
“Anything is possible, but this is not likely in any near future,” Belyea said.