by Rommel Thorpe
With all the talent Northeast Ohio produces on the football field every year, it’s no wonder that Ohio is a hotbed for college coaches to recruit players. But what about the players that don’t get the opportunity to play at the collegiate level? Be it low grades or financial trouble, there are a lot of male student athletes who want what every athlete dreams of…a second chance.
Rita McKinley, Tri-C’s Eastern Campus Director of Student Activities, believes a football team would be a good idea, but funding is key in the matter.
“I think Tri-C would greatly benefit from having a football team here. I’ve had at least 85 male students a semester ask me about Tri-C having a football team. But we also have to look at the dynamics. Money for equipment, travel, hotels, where would we host our home games, and how we as a school would equal out the female sports as well. It’s an idea we have talked about many times during meetings. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to get the money for it, but who’s to say it won’t happen five years or so from now.”
This year, Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, introduced their inaugural football team and already their male enrollment increased by 20%. They have a roster of 80+ players. Although Hocking College is the only team in the NJCAA’s Region 8, they have boasted a current 4-1 record playing an independent schedule. Enrollment is expected to increase by 5% next season.
With the talent level and opportunities presented here at Tri-C, the idea of a football team presents a plethora of opportunities and possibilities for the school as well as male students. As of right now, there are nine NCAA Division 1, 2 and 3 schools in Northeast Ohio (Akron, Kent State, Hiram College, Baldwin Wallace, John Carroll, Notre Dame College, Lake Erie College, Malone University, Walsh University) that offer football as a collegiate sport. With Tri-C sitting in central location and having educational partnerships with each school, imagine the possibilities and benefits that could be awarded to male students. But only time will tell if there will be a push big enough to bring football to Tri-C.