Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why doesn't the Big 12 play Men's Soccer?

A good friend of mine asked me this a couple of weeks ago. He told me OU didn't have a soccer team, neither did OSU. I was sure he was misinformed. Being a former auditor, I decided to check it out. Sho'nuff, neither school has men's soccer. actually, no school in the Big 12 does. Nor the SEC. Here's a list of schools that play Division 1 soccer. There are 198 schools that play D1 soccer, from Adelphi College to Yale University. Amazingly, just one of those 198 schools is in Texas.

On the other hand, there are 221 young men that list a home town in Texas playing D1 soccer. These men are peppered over 90 different campuses from coast to coast. There are 10 schools in states where big 12 universities reside that play D1. There are 477 men from those states that play on 120 different teams. Yet the Big 12 doesn't have men's soccer. Why is that?

One of the obvious culprits is budget Title IX. That's a lame excuse, though. Bob Stoops will earn a $3 million bonus this year for staying put for 10 years. Earlier this decade, UNC-Chapel Hill spent $9.9 million funding 23 sports with revenue (mostly from corporate sponsorships and contributions) of $7.8 million. The HeadVisor's stay bonus could fund soccer and have some spare change left over for women's lacrosse. And just like in football, we could recruit the bejeebers out of Texas and have a formidable team every year. After all, 18 of the 28 ladies on the women's soccer roster are from Texas. Back to the point at hand. If you're interested in some info on Title XI and it's impact on sports, you can read here or here. TBone Pickens probably has enough spare change in the couch cushions to fund men's soccer in Stillwater.

It could be that soccer is dangerous. A report published in the Journal of Athletic Training indicates that intercollegiate soccer is the most dangerous sport women play, and the third most dangerous sport amongst males, trailing only football and soccer.

We here at landthieves don't delve into serious stuff very often. It's beneath us. So, what do you with this info? a) You can storm the castle and petition the Big 12 to sanction men's soccer for its member institutions; b) You can move along, and look for the picture of Erin Andrews in the post preceding this; c) you can keep spending money on select soccer, in the hopes that you can also save some money along the way to pay for the trip across the U.S. to visit your son in the hospital after he sustains a soccer injury at a faraway school.

It's up to you.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.


RussnDD said...

I had read an online article that quoted the Big 12 commissioner as saying that the conference itself has no objections to mens soccer, but that at least 8 of the 12 would have to be involved to form a competition bracket. He basically said it was in the hands of each individual school. Is this accurate information?

HeadThief said...

Russndd - thanks for stopping by. It sounds reasonable. I did a bit of searching this morning and found a similar quote from an associate commish to that effect that originated in the K State student newspaper in 2006.

Anonymous said...

Looking for the petition to sign to bring soccer to the Big 12?

Here it is:

The petition will not work by itself but can be used to demonstrate the public interest in the subject.