Around the time that leaves begin to fall from the trees and salmon return home to spawn, sports fans start to get a little itch in the back of their mind. After all, it’s the beginning of the football season. It’s the beginning of a time where the guys have an excuse not to go to church, and the ladies have an excuse not to make them.
For college students, it can be one of the most exciting times of the year. But in Bellevue, we don’t have the same Sundays as, say, the University of Washington or Washington State University.
Having now passed WSU in enrollment, BC certainly has the numbers to support a football program, so what is stopping the arrival of a Bellevue Bulldogs football team?
“We’re not in a position financially to have a football team right now” said Bellevue College Athletic Director Bill O’Connor. Football requires “about a 500,000 dollar startup cost”, money the school just doesn’t have ready to throw around.
At a time where other schools (like Western Washington University) are cutting their own football programs, the market just isn’t in any kind of shape where schools can be adding new sports programs.
The area doesn’t help much though. To play another team, Bellevue would have to travel hundreds of miles, and their closest opponents would be in Idaho or California. Certainly no schools in the immediate area would be prepared to compete with a newly-organized Bulldog team.
“There are no other teams in NWAACC that have football teams right now” O’Connor said.
Competing with UW or any other NCAA team would be out of the question. Those schools are privy to far larger athletic scholarship funds, and those teams likely wouldn’t accept a challenge from what is still technically a community college in the first place.
Even if the school had the funding and the competition, a problem still arises when considering a playing field. Building a stadium would only raise the cost of bringing a club to the school.
Not only that, but space on the campus is at a priority as it is. Parking as it is can often turn into a nightmare at school, so removing any parking lots is essentially out of the question.
“There just isn’t a facility on campus that can take football”, O’Connor said.
Playing on the soccer field is similarly impossible, as both sports play during the same time of the year, ultimately resulting in some scheduling conflicts.
So unfortunately for Bulldog fans, football won’t be played under a bulldog logo anytime soon. Take heart though, because both men’s and women’s soccer (of course, football to the rest of the world) are expected to have great seasons, and the Seahawks and Huskies have already shown that they are ready to have big turnarounds, with wins a week ago.
It might not be best to mention the Cougars, but even they have a chance to get a few wins this year.
So regardless of what logo resides on the teams helmet, there should be plenty of football for any fan this fall. The itch is there, and now football fans have something to scratch it with.