Tomorrow in Macon, Georgia, Mercer University fields a football team for the first time since 1941. The team that it be playing, Reinhardt University of Walesa, Georgia, is playing its first game ever. Why are they doing it?
From what I have read, the school’s presidents say the same things that other university presidents are saying all over the country. Football programs enhance the educational experience, raise a school’s profile, and attract more students. Mercer has its largest freshman class ever this year. How many girls do you think pick a school because of football?
Of course, the football programs may also make money for the schools. But, that’s not a given. The big programs at schools like Alabama, Georgia, and Auburn make millions, but more small universities lose than make money on their programs.
11,000 fans are expected to show up for the Mercer-Reinhardt game tomorrow, by the way. The stadium has 10,200 seats. Will Mercer win the first game it has played in 72 years? Who knows? All we know is that Mercer has about 8,000 students, and Reinhardt has a little over 1,000. Reinhardt has no record since it has never played a game. Mercer does have a record. It won 3 and lost 6 games in 1941, the last year that it had a football team.