Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Urban renewal in UF’s football program

I was at the barber shop this morning getting my hair – or what’s left of it – cut and talked with the woman wielding the scissors about the biggest news in Gainesville.

All I know is, I take a couple of days off from work and everything falls apart. I’m sure everyone has heard that Urban Meyer has decided – again – to resign as UF’s football coach.

This is earthshaking, “Sarah Palin quitting the governor’s office” news. Meyer quit last year, too, I heard, and changed his mind the next day. This time it’s the real deal.

The barber said Meyer is giving up $20 million in salary he would have made, and expressed disbelief that someone would leave that kind of cash on the table, even to “spend more time with (his) family.”

My former colleague at Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, Ray McNulty, wrote that he wants to believe Meyer, but … who leaves a job that lucrative and high-profile for his family?

Maybe in the next few days or weeks we’ll know the real story, but in the meantime we’re left with speculation that will undoubtedly run rampant.

One thing I have noticed is that football has a major role in college today, and that worries me. In the early 1990s, I was at Florida Atlantic University for my last two years of college and while the lack of a football team had no impact on me because I was an older student, many of the kids just out of high school were horrified that there was no football team.

Even worse than no football team is a losing football team, it seems. Who wants to see others laugh at your diploma because the football team sucked in those years?

This morning, while driving to the barbershop, I decided that four-year colleges need to create a special “football disclaimer” form for freshman students to sign, indicating that they are aware that:

A. The college does not have a football team.

B. The college has a football team, but it is not winning that many games.

This would serve to indemnify the college if a student sues because the team’s poor performance is causing him or her extreme fears about their future career due to the college being a laughingstock.

To help the colleges, as a public service I have included sample letters.

By the way, FAU did eventually get a football team at enormous expense, but the team still sucks.

Letter to incoming student (non-football team disclaimer)

Dear student:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of No-Football University, please accept my sincere welcome to our college. We have a full array of sports, including baseball, soccer, basketball, lacrosse and more, for men and women, but we are obligated to inform you that we do not have a football team.

We realize that this means you will have no opportunity for drinking, drugging or running wild on game days, and hope that you haven’t expended too much time trying to find the football stadium. Our college has never had a football team, and there are no plans for one. If you feel that this is just too much to bear, please visit the registrar and file form NF-GMTHOOH2010, which will withdraw you from our college and enable you to register at a college with a football team.

We apologize if this has caused any inconvenience.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Elbert C. Countinthebucks

President, CEO and Maximum Leader, No-Football University

Letter to incoming student (football team blows chunks disclaimer)

Dear student:

Welcome to Our Football Team Blows University, where you can be assured that there is a full range of sports, including football, to give you an excuse to get wasted and pass out in your own waste on the admin lawn, as well as wreck the town, the dorms and any students too unenlightened to care when we win.

Sadly, that won’t be happening much on the football gridiron during your four years amid our buildings and dorms. See, the team was once great but now it blows chunks. It gets beaten not only by Division I powerhouses like Notre Dame and the University of Miami, but also Division III teams that barely exist. We know, you came here to feel – and misspell – the camaraderie of cheering on a winning team, but let’s face it, our team is going nowhere.

This could affect you because everyone knows that prospective employers judge workers on how their college’s football team did while the applicant was there. We apologize in advance for the questions you’ll have to endure, and hope you’ll avail yourself of the educational opportunities our institution offers instead.

You were just born in the wrong year, that’s all.

Then again, the Mets were underdogs in 1969 (probably before your parents were born) but beat the Orioles 4-1 in the World Series that year, so anything’s possible.

Please accept my best wishes for a successful college career.

Warmest regards,

Dr. I.M. Rollinindough


December 10, 2010 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age, The business of sports | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This is a great post. I love soccer game. Actually im a retired player from australia..5 stars for you..

    Comment by Richard Ramsden | December 10, 2010 | Reply

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