Quintus: Is UD’s move to FBS worth it?


The spring issue of the University of Delaware Magazine hails the entrance of Blue Hen football into the NCAA’s Division I (FBS) level and notes that the cost of admission into Conference USA has been “funded by the generosity of Blue Hen donors.” Sports writers estimate that cost at $6 million, and that’s just to get in the door. The cost of sending football (and other) teams to Texas and New Mexico, where several of Conference USA schools are located, will be staggering.

The biggest concern, apart from the considerable expense, is the question of Blue Hen ability to play in Division I. Judging from the team’s performance in recent history, my answer would be no. We were doing OK, if not great, in the Colonial Athletic Association, in which we fit well for a number of reasons.

But the article goes on to claim all the many benefits that will accrue to the university by joining Conference USA, most of which can be lumped into the category of finance. We’ll enjoy prime-time TV coverage of our games, and that means money in our coffers. After all, what drives college sports these days, if not money? We may get clobbered, but we’ll get paid. It’s a better deal than Rome’s gladiators got.

The university’s Morris Library has been looking for funds for years now to accomplish long-overdue renovations. The school has no difficulty in raising money for sports, but when it comes to academic research and the maintenance of a first-rate research library — well, no one’s around to pay for that. It amounts to a sad commentary on the priorities of UD’s administrators, not to mention what interests rich donors the most.

Dr. John Allen Quintus

Class of 1975


Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at civiltalk@iniusa.org.

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