Penmen Football Helmet Mock-Up (img src: Paul Padden)

SNHU has 20 different athletic teams that house a range of different sports, but one popular sport that is played by most colleges is missing from the list: football.

When teams are being considered for the SNHU roster, there are several questions that must be answered. One major question is whether this sport will fall in line with the federal mandate typically referred to as Title IX.

Title IX requires that there be an equal opportunity and spending in athletics regardless of sex, while also reflecting the make-up of the campus, according to NCAA Title IX. The current ratio for SNHU athletics is 53% males and 47% females or, in real numbers, 202 males and 181 females, according to the Director of Athletics and Recreation at SNHU, Anthony Fallacaro.

“This ratio is within 2% of the current campus make-up. This difference is meant to be corrected in the next few years with the growth of Women’s track,” said Fallacaro.

This relates to the lack of a football team because the addition of one would add an estimated 65 male players to SNHU’s athletics, causing several issues with the current ratio for Title IX laws. Adding a football team would require SNHU to either remove a current male team or add the equivalent female teams to their roster.

This leads to the second factor regarding the drawbacks of a football team: finances. Fallacaro mentioned the burden of an estimated $600,000–$800,000 initial investment needed that would be geared towards the new team. This would generate a need for the same financial accessory for girls’ sports as well.

Another hurdle would be the geography of SNHU as our current conference only has nine football teams, and in order to play the normal “eleven no-repeat games”, it would require a trip to Pennsylvania. This would cost anywhere between $35,000–$55,000, according to Fallacaro.

Conclusively, if SNHU were to add a football program, there would be a need for more funding for both male and female athletics. This could result in higher tuition, or funding being siphoned from other athletic programs. For these reasons, a football program is not on the horizon for SNHU. Should any new programs be required, it would most likely be swim teams with a pool overhaul or men’s track.

Intermural sports and club sports don’t affect the current ratio because Title IX is overseen by the NCAA. Esports also operates in a new column because it isn’t exclusive to any particular sex or gender.