Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is Bucknell Leaning Toward Supporting Football Scholarships?

With a new president in place at Bucknell, are the Bison now beginning to lean toward supporting the reinstitution of football scholarships? Well, whether it is the new President or not, the Bucknell sports board seems to be indicating a shift in sentiment in Lewisburg. Let's check this out.

At Bucknell's Board of Trustees fall retreat two weeks ago, it reported on a:
Special Committee on Athletics and Recreation
The special committee provided an update in open session of its latest work, and then held a committee meeting to discuss next steps. The committee has posed eight questions to the University about various dimensions of athletics and recreation at Bucknell, including the role of both in campus life, the University's relationship with the Patriot League, and the role of merit aid in our financial aid strategy. The committee is nearing completion of its work and expects to submit its full report to the Board at the November meeting. As has been announced, we will host a forum on the Special Committee on Athletics and Recreation this Friday, October 8, in the ELC Forum at 12 noon. All are welcome. 
From a writer who has reviewed the Special Committee's report, 
I've read the preliminary report of the committee, and three things stand out (two clearly, one if you read between the lines): 
1. There's no way we're going DIII (clearly stated)

2. PL is the best fit long term for Bucknell. It is in BU's interest to preserve this league (clearly stated)
3. We're next to last in PL in spending per athlete. HC is worse than us, while Colgate spends almost double (clearly stated). The implication is that we have maneuvering room to support athletic scholarships (between the lines). If you think about it, it's simply amazing that we've had this level of success in PL sports, given the spending levels.
My speculation is that in the first wave, we'll approve scholarships for football, which will cascade into scholarships for women's soccer and women's softball (title IX). 
Additionally, the same writer adds,
Also, another thing that I'm hearing is that Colgate will start giving football scholarships next year. Perhaps someone with insight from the Raiders board could confirm this. Lehigh and Laf. are signaling they'll vote for it, while Georgetown will remain PL for football and opt not to give them.  
More fodder for the HCGLC's meeting with Holy Cross Board Chair Kevin Condron on November 4th.

Larry Doyle '83
Chair, HCGLC 

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