By Ray Hamill — College of the Redwoods announced on Thursday morning that it is considering bringing back the football team for 2022.
Just six months after suspending the program for budgetary reasons due to COVID-19, school president Dr. Keith Flamer said in a press release that the school is “exploring the feasibility of resuming football in the fall of 2022.”
According to the press release, “the reinstatement relies on a number of modifications and improvements to the program, ones that the college believes will elevate academics and prioritize the ‘student’ part of student athlete.”
“I believe that our athletic programs instill student athletes with good habits of fitness, competitiveness, drive, and discipline,” Dr. Flamer said. “Clearly, what they learn about teamwork, individual responsibility, determination and goal-oriented tasks follow them into their future.”
According to the press release, “The new football staff will be directed to encourage student athlete accountability in academic programs, and there will be an emphasis on graduation rates, grade point averages (GPAs), and retention rates from semester to semester.”
The school also announced the administration has hired a consultant to “conduct a needs assessment, develop a framework for improving student athlete achievement outcomes, and provide recommendations based on findings.”
Among the changes in how the program will be run, the team “will no longer be recruiting student athletes from non-contiguous states, meaning only those from California, Oregon, Nevada and Arizona.”
CR Athletics Director Bob Brown said, “The athletic department greatly appreciates the open dialogue and initial approval of planning towards the reinstatement of the football program.
“We look forward to building on the recent academic success of our athletic teams and to adding football back into that fold.”
The press release added that the “College of the Redwoods Foundation is committed to raising $250,000 from the community to cover costs of football program staff and upgrading the intercollegiate weight room.”
Dr. Flamer added “that reinstating football can be compatible and complementary to our academic endeavors for several reasons.
“If our student athletes are supported and maintain higher retention and graduation rates than the general student body, other academic programs would likely be enhanced by the addition of football players.
“A well-managed football program can bring in a net positive annual revenue and a great deal more ‘value-added’ to the College.”