The future of the Catholic University football team could be at stake next Wednesday when the student body votes on a referendum to increase the student activities fee that has supported the team over the past five years.
Student Government Association President Jerry Rehel said it will be impossible to maintain operation of the team next year without the increase, which could be as high as 25 percent. The activities fee currently is $60 per student.
Rehel said the Student Government Association is "urging students not to approve the increase. Tuition went up 15 percent this year, room went up 30 percent and board went up 10 percent. We don't feel that another fee should be increased on top of that. We also don't think the student activities fee should be funding the football team or any intercollegiate activites. The student activities fee is supposed to be student activities."
Currently, the football team's annual budget is $24,000. If the results of the referendum lead the Student Government Asociation to cut off funding to the team, Rehel hopes it will spur the administration to pick up the cost.
Because of the basketball team's move from the NCAA's Division 1 to Division 3, Rehel said there should be money left over, "about $100,000," to support the football team.
"What the student body is going to be doing in this vote is calling the administration's bluff," said Rehel. "If they (the adminstration) want a football team, they'll have to pay for it."
Five years ago, when the Catholic football team graduated from club status to Division 3, Rehel said the student association planned to fund the team for three years. The last two years have been an extension of that plan.
Dr. John Murphy, the university provost, said yesterday that the administration "hasn't had anything to do with the football team other than making sure they have medical coverage. If they're going to have a team, it's going to be student-sponsored. Given the limited resources we have, we have to put the money in athletic areas where lots of students can get involved, not just a small minority like the football team.