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Gaucho Football
updated: Aug 18, 2014, 8:05 AM

By Edhat Subscriber

I saw a funny statement, "Gaucho Football, undefeated since 1992." Does anyone know why UCSB no longer has a football team?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 545573 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:10 AM



 COMMENT 545576 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:16 AM

Because they were bad for so many years!


 COMMENT 545579P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:19 AM

573, lack there of? Even with a permanent budget of 549 million.



 FREDHAT agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:25 AM

A couple of years prior, the NCAA passed a rule that said if your college teams were at the Division I level for 2 of the 3 major team sports, then you had to be Division I for all 3 of those sports. Since UCSB was already in Division I for baseball and basketball, then their football team was required to be Division I as well. The football team had risen from being re-instated in the 1980's starting at club level, to become a Division II powerhouse by 1992, so the team was expected to be competitive enough in Division I if playing against other California mid-major schools such as San Jose State.

However, around the same time the NCAA also passed a rule that said you had to have a certain minimum-size stadium if you were allowed to compete in Division I football. (I think the number was seating for 40,000.) Since Harder Stadium was smaller, UCSB would be required to expand the stadium in order to meet the minimum-size threshold for Division I football. If not, then they couldn't play Division I football, and because of the 1st rule above, wouldn't be allowed to stay in Division II either, so would be forced to drop football altogether.

In response, a referendum was put on the student ballot that year to increase fees a bit over several years to finance the expansion of Harder stadium. If I recall, the election brought out a whopping turnout of about 10% of the students. (It was a standard election ballot with the other usual items on it, such as AS officer voting.) And I believe the Harder Stadium initiative lost by 51%-49% or something close like that - out of the 10% of the students voting.

And thus combined with those 2 new NCAA rules, UCSB was forced to drop their football program. The upside? Isla Vista is still ruled by skinny surfers instead of big brute football players.


 COMMENT 545589P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:31 AM

Be glad. Look what's been discovered about brain injuries in the head-bashing NFL. The American-style contact football era will end soon, beginning with the version sponsored by money-grubbing universities that exploit student athletes like the gladiators in Rome's coliseum.


 COMMENT 545592 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:34 AM

That would make a great T-shirt!

For a long time, UCSB has been focusing more on intramural sports for the students and less on intercollegiate sports . If that was a conscious tradeoff, I think it was a good one. Growth of body and mind, lessons in team playing and sportsmanship, and nurturing of possibly a lifelong love of sports. I certainly benefited from IM sports.


 COMMENT 545593 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:34 AM

I was glad there was no football team when I was there. Had enough of that rah rah crap in high school.


 COMMENT 545595P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:42 AM

Good comment 592. Sports are great when in their purity. College sports (at least the money making ones) not so much as they evolved.


 COMMENT 545596 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:47 AM

@589 The American-style contact football era will end soon? I hope you're not the betting type... I don't think you would do well in Vegas! Seriously, football is going no where.


 COMMENT 545597 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:51 AM

The football vote occurred when I was at UCSB. I believe the amount that would have kept football was less than a dollar per quarter per student.


 COMMENT 545599 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:57 AM

Because running across lines of chalk with a piece of leather isn't a job skill.


 COMMENT 545600 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:58 AM

Dropped it because common sense overruled football idiocy.

Or was it because Cal Poly usually beat the Gauchos???


 COMMENT 545641 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 10:42 AM

Go Soccer !


 COMMENT 545652 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 11:16 AM

proud that we don't have a football team at UCSB


 BECKY agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 12:07 PM

I was at UCSB from 1971-1976, and football was eliminated just before my time there. I recall it was about money and divisions (as Fredhat explained quite well), but Title IX in 1972, put the icing on that cake. I still remember going in to meet with the then athletic director, as one of the female representatives of the 5? 6? women's intercollegiate sports, and telling him that he was going to have to increase our budget to be in compliance with Title IX. All 5 women's teams together had a lower budget than *equipment* budget for the men's basketball team. There were a lot of sexists that felt that giving more money to women to play sports meant that men would be deprived, and that we "girls" should feel guilty about that. Look at the amazing and wonderful growth of girls's and women's participation in sports over the past 40 years. If we had to give up a football team to get that, what a great deal!


 COMMENT 545674 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 12:27 PM

Brain injuries occur in a lot of sports. Lacrosse. Soccer. Diving. Not just football, but that is probably the worst one.

They ask those old pro footballers who can barely tie their shoes due to arthritis and dementia if they would still have played if they knew what the long term effects would be, and most of them say- Absolutely!


 COMMENT 545675 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 12:35 PM

FREDHAT explains it well but I don't think the funding was about the size of Harder Stadium. UCSB could have moved up to division I-AA (now FCS), where Cal Poly and their ~11,000 seat stadium sit today (Harder already held ~18,000). It was about the required scholarships (including Title IV offsets) and other costs required to maintain a DI program.

I believe the vote happened right at the tail end of the early 90s recession. It's too bad it didn't pass - it wasn't all that expensive and UCSB had a decent football tradition that was undergoing grass roots resuscitation.


 COMMENT 545678 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 12:59 PM

They are just now starting up their football team at UCSB. Thus far, they've only placed Mareille Miller-Young in the position of Offensive Tackle.


 COMMENT 545683 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 01:22 PM

Because football is for uneducated neanderthals!


 COMMENT 545688 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 01:44 PM

Not sure than football players would lower or raise that party school ranking. And their sure are a lot of frats to rob down here. Adderall anyone? Or maybe they were after the stash of old tests? Or was it the party fund?


 COMMENT 545692 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 01:54 PM

So size does matter?


 COMMENT 545703 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 02:39 PM

674 - Next to boxing, and the like, no other sport requires intentional personal high impact. Not even rugby, which is more like wrestling. Partial list of QBs that say they wouldn't let their sons play; Aikman, Warner, Brees, Bradshaw, Farve. As for your comment, "... ask those ask those old pro footballers ... dementia... Absolutely!" All I can say is, "Really?"


 COMMENT 545713 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 03:22 PM

I played football from 7th grade all thru HS here locally and played in the game at UCSB in May 1982 which was meant to gauge how much interest there would be if football were to return. I had some of the most memorable times of my youth playing YFL and formed some friendships that last to this day. I wouldn't change those times for hardly anything. There clearly are risks, just as there are risks walking down the street and riding in a car. I played football despite the risks, and was usually one of the smallest players on the field. I'm now a parent of teenagers who play contact sports and they know the risks. They play anyway because they love their sport. If you stop football, then you have to stop lacrosse, soccer, rugby, baseball, basketball, and on and on. While you're at it you'll need to outlaw scissors, ladders, steak knives, stairs, and more.


 COMMENT 545720 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 03:35 PM

Didn't they have the vote in the late 80's/early 90s, keep the football team or use the money for the year end concert free concert and the Extravaganza won?


 COMMENT 545729 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 04:26 PM

Extravaganza is completely different funding from athletics. There was never a vote to put money toward one or the other.


 COMMENT 545730P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 04:32 PM

When I met an old fellow with dementia and asked him if he got it playing football, he answered "I might have, but I can't remember".


 COMMENT 545734 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 04:49 PM

Because we knew a long time ago that football and concussion are linked to brain damage.


 COMMENT 545737 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 05:10 PM

Ask most Santa Barbarans and they would vote to NOT have UCSB in Santa Barbara. Football or no football.


 COMMENT 545738 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 05:15 PM

Anecdotes are fun, 737! Maybe you should actually conduct a data-driven study to prove your statement.


 COMMENT 545747P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 06:38 PM

Sports of any kind at a more-than-informal level really contribute nothing to the prosperity of a community compared to the returns you would get by spending that money on actual academics and research in STEM. Same goes for Art. They may entertain you and make you happy, but they won't make a lot of lives better.


 COMMENT 545757P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-18 08:02 PM

@592 -- Here's your t-shirt: http://www.ucsbstuff.com/MerchDetail.aspx?MerchID=1268261

Football was eliminated twice at UCSB. Once in about 1992 as FREDHAT says. Once earlier, maybe late 60s or early 70s.


 COMMENT 545789 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 07:27 AM

There are also some funny UCSB football shirts and sweatshirts sold at Isla Vista Screen Printing. It won't let me post a link but check out ivtanks(dot)com!


 COMMENT 545793 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 07:45 AM

I first went to UCSB in '68. There was football then, but gone the next year. Never went to a football game. Not a loss for me. If I wanted to watch football, there was always TV.
However, maybe we can get rid of all "American" traditions. What good are traditions?
From a book I am reading:
"in order to stay adapted a culture must itself change; but at the same time it must be able to keep those features that continue to have survival value. Too much flexibility, and a civilization will perish through loss of old adaptations; too much constancy, and it will die for want of new ones. The West seems now to be in danger of the first fate........"
From "Unfolding Islam" by P. J. Stewart


 COMMENT 545811 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 08:36 AM

Ignorance is the fuel for stupidity! It was a tragedy to lose football at UCSB.The vote that killed football here was a fraud! The graduate students were voting on something they would not experience or enjoy. Prior to the vote, then AD John Kasser declined and squashed the 1991 football team's invitation to theAztec Bowl in Mexico City in fear of more support and interest in the flourishing program. Unfortunately, the "Death" of football at UCSB also buried the time and efforts of great people likeMikeWarren,Rick Candael,Bake Mcbride, A.D. Stan Morrison, etc.who built a legitimate program from scratch. In 1988, in front of thousands of great fans at Harder Stadium, the Gauchos beat a tough Div 1 W . New Mexico team that was previously undefeated. Those that played, coached or witnessed what happened that day know what we had. I am truly sad and disappointed when I read the comments of people who are ignorant about UCSB FOOTBALL! Go Gauchos!


 COMMENT 545812 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 08:37 AM

It was put to a student vote back in 2000 but was voted down on reseructing the program


 COMMENT 545816 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 08:47 AM

'Offensive tackle"...funny! Now please silence those off-beat constant drums at the soccer games. They are so annoying. I appreciate that they are there to pump up the crowd but the UCSB soccer audience doesn't need no stinkin' drums on game night. Especially when the players are on point. The world cup banned those vuvuselas. Ditch the drums. Go Gauchos!


 COMMENT 545820 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 08:56 AM

While attending UCSB during the late 1960s I never missed a football game even though I was working full time and attending school full time. The games were well attended. There even was a student section and there would be 5 to 7 thousand students (the games were included with your student card). At a few games we even had flashcards taped to the back of the seat in front of you with a number on it which told you when you were to flash the colored card on a signal from the cheerleaders. It was all great fun and the teams were competitive until they were forced to move up to Div. one and got killed by Tennessee. Then a series of events and the inablilty to fund a Div. I program with travel, etc. and all of the events explained by FREDHAT's post unfolded. Football is one of the best PR connections a college has with every community, it was a mistake to drop it.


 COMMENT 545843 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 09:44 AM

not a mistake at all. UCSB is better for not having the distractions and frustrations of being football fodder for UCLA and USC, as well as not having to pay $1,000,000 for another head coach in the disgusting economy that college sports have become.


 COMMENT 545868 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 11:09 AM

I have learned so much from this thread. Thanks, Edhatters! I feel like UCSB's lack of a football team is another form of leadership. 3/4s of Gauchos PLAY intramural sports. They are not tailgating or warming stadium seats -- they are out moving and exercising. Even during the big soccer matches, they are mostly standing or milling about socializing. Other research universities will follow this trend. Don't watch sports, play sports. Go Gauchos.


 COMMENT 545882 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 11:28 AM

It would almost certainly not be such a program if it still existed today, 862.


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-08-19 12:03 PM

Seems to me, football at colleges is about getting donations from alumni, keeping players who can let grades slide but are still valuable enough to gloss over their low academic brain power. It's basically all about money, not sports.


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