The University of Maryland-Eastern Shore plans to drop football until at least 1984, citing rising costs and the need ot comply with Title 9, the federal law barring sex discrimination in school sports programs.
William P. Hytche, chancellor at the Eastern Shore campus, announced the decision yesterday following a year-long review of the UMES athletic program, which has produced 25 professsional football players.
Among them are such standouts as roger Brown (Los Angeles Rams), Emerson Boozer (New York Jets), Art Shell (Oakland Raiders), Carl Hairston (Philadelphia Eagles), Mack Alston (Baltimore Colts and former Redskin), Gerald Irons (Cleveland Browns), Moses Denson (Redskins), John Sample (Jets and former Redskin) and Bill Thompson (Jets and Denver Broncos).
Hytche said he will ask the university's Board of Regents to approve his recommendation when the board meets on Jan. 8. He expects approval.
Once football is dropped, Hytche said, UMES intends to upgrade other sports, particularly basketball, and add others for a more comprehensive program for both men and women.
"It is with great humility that I suspend one of our most cherished traditions -- the sport of football," Hytche said. "Over the years we have developed a strong tradition in football, having sent more players to the professional leagues than any other school of our size.
"We had the distinction of having more (four) players in Super Bowl 3 than any other single institution. They were Boozer, Sample and Thompson of the New York Jets and Roy Kirksey of the Baltimore Colts.
"We have made every attempt to sustain this glorious record, even to the point of hiring one of the nation's top athletic administrators, Mr. Jim Kehoe, to assist us in review of the program. But the spiraling rate of inflation and the cost of compliance with Title 9 . . . leave us no other alternative."
Hytche said that the National Alumni Association, UMES' alumni federation, hopes to raise money to reactive the football program so it is self-sustaining in 1984 and 1985.
Hytche did not know how much money the association planned on raising. The association's president, Ted Adams, could not be reached for comment.Budget projection will be made later, Hytche said.
In their 33-year football history, the Hawks have an overall record of 159-110-10, the 12th-best winning percent-age among NCAA Division II schools. They were 3-7-1 this year and attendance averaged only 1,500 per game at the 1,100-student campus in Rpincess Anne, Md.
Hytche and department spokesman LeCounte Conaway referred questions for specifics on budgets and the number of participating athletes to Athletic Director Kehoe, who could not be reached yesterday.
But, Hytche said, the university is apending about $75,000 on its total athletic program this year, with football accounting for almost 85 percent of it. The recently finished study, Hytche said, concluded that UMES would have to spend at least $99,000 on football alone next year just to continue it at this year's level.
Counting football, there are six sports for men and three for women. UMES gives no athletic scholarships.
Hytche said he did not know how much money is spent on the women, but "they are getting less than their share . . . There have been no incentives for women to compete. They're there because they want to be . . .
"So the combination of Title 9 and inflation made it compelling for me to come up with a decision on football. And there are some other things that have to be changed (in other sports).
"I cannot continue to have our athletes do some of the things we have done -- like, when a substitution occurs, they'd actually have to exchange shoes."
Saying he hopes the alumi and their businesses will come through financially for football, Hytche added, "I don't think the alumni realize that the athletic program cannot be run the way it was when they were in school."