News, Sports

Football to be on March ballot

The group Bring Back 49er Football has gathered the signatures needed to place a referendum to reinstate football at Cal State Long Beach on the March ballot.

The students behind the referendum are proposing a fee increase to fund the program. The referendum will appear on the campus ballot March 21-24.

President F. King Alexander could overturn the student vote. Efforts to reach Alexander were unsuccessful.

According to the petition obtained by the Daily 49er on Tuesday, “Reinstating the football program entails a student activity fee of $86 a semester phased in over five years … This activity fee would not only finance NCAA men’s football, but NCAA women’s crew, lacrosse, and field hockey.”

The petition states that this fee will cover all costs associated with these sports, including scholarships, coaches and athletic trainers.

If football was reinstated, the women’s teams would need to be added to comply with Title IX, which requires that men and women’s athletics are reflective of the student population. According to collegeboard.org, LBSU has a ratio of 59 percent females to 41 percent males.

LBSU athletic director Vic Cegles told the Daily 49er in June 2009, “It’s not even on the back burner, it’s off the burner.”

In Monday’s Long Beach Press-Telegram, he reaffirmed his stance by saying, “It’s very, very, very, very unrealistic.”

Chris O’ Brien, one of the students leading the movement, said he hopes that revenue from ticket sales, concession stands, and parking will offset the fee increase.

O’Brien also said that the group hopes that adding a football team will help the campus grow.

 

“We will grow as a campus and become a powerhouse campus by becoming the only game in town for college football,” he said.

The organization had the same measure on the ballot last spring until it was discovered that the signatures they had received were not verified.

According to Associated Students Inc. bylaws, you must have 5 percent of the student population’s signatures in order to propose a referendum. The Daily 49er reported last spring that the signatures had never been verified, making the referendum invalid.

However, this time, CSULB Dean of Students Mike Hostetler said that his office verified the signatures. According to Hostetler, the signatures were obtained during the spring 2010 and fall 2010 semesters.

Last year, the movement was spearheaded by Jason Aula.

“If it doesn’t happen this time, I’m sure there will be another attempt soon,” Aula told the Press-Telegram, which identified him as a senior.

According to CSULB media relations director Rick Gloady, Aula is no longer an enrolled student.

Long Beach State’s football program was cut in 1991 and spanned 37 years.

Brittany Sterling contributed to this report.

 


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