In a surprising move, USF Athletics decided to bring back its fabled football team to Division 1 sports after 53 dormant years. Citing the national exposure of ESPN’s 30 for 30 film “’51 Dons,” a documentary about the university’s 1951 football team, the Board of Trustees quickly approved a five-year plan that would see the Dons return to the gridiron for the 2018 season.
Allocating a large sum of money for the football team, the Board of Trustees saw the football program’s return as a financial investment that would ultimately pay large dividends for the university. While it is still early to speculate what conference the Dons would play in, early rumors indicate that the Dons could land anywhere from the Pac-12 Conference to the Big Sky Conference. While the Pac-12 would be a more logical pick based off of the geography, the competitiveness of the conference and the fact that the conference recently admitted two schools raises doubts that the Pac-12 will be the final home for the Dons.
Students offered a variety of opinions on what conference the Dons should play in next year.
“Well, I heard the SEC had the cutest boys, so we should play there,” a source overheard sophomore Hayley Rodriguez say in the cafeteria.
Others downplayed the aesthetic importance of Dons opponents, and felt the financial problems that plagued the program should factor into the decision.
“If you actually tally all the money being spent on stadiums these days, it really costs less to play all the games on the East Coast, or even not at all,” said USF student Cody Brakenhoff, who plans on becoming an economic analyst.
While nothing is certain, sources say that the university is leaning closer towards joining the stud-filled Southeastern Conference (SEC) in an effort to combat the short supply of men at USF. Sources also confirmed that the “Nae Nae”, a popular urban dance, would be the official team dance and would performed after every first down or during every stoppage of time – whichever comes first.
One problem the university plans to address in the coming year is the question of which stadium the Dons will call home, as crowds are expected to peak in the thousands in the first year alone.
“Attendance looks to be the biggest issue as we head into the initial phase,” said Thomas E. Malloy, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “We have contemplated moving home games to Kezar Stadium, and then eventually moving the games to an off-campus site in South San Francisco. Candlestick Park has even been scouted as a venue”
The Dons last fielded a Division 1 football team in 1951, when their historic undefeated program was invited to a bowl game, and was ultimately rejected the bowl bid after they refused to exclude their two African American players from the game. After that, USF went to Division II and played its last varsity game in 1982. With the resurrection of the football team, the Dons look to continue the winning tradition that produced three NFL Hall of Famers and put the University of San Francisco on the map.