Where Football is King

If I’ve learned anything from living in the south, it’s you don’t kid when it comes to football.  Want to know where people are on a Friday night between September and November?  Check the high school football field (they even made an entire TV show about a southern high school football team for crying out loud).  When I was in high school I think the team was made up of about 400 guys out of oh, I don’t know 401.  I think the requirements to be on the team were (1) that you had to be male and (2) at least partially breathing.

For a while the high school stadium was bigger and better than the university’s and they seemed to always be expanding and adding on.  Plus the football team got new uniforms every year and were taken out for steak dinners at the end of season regardless of their record for the year.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Bitter, party of one?”  And you know what?  I am bitter.  We girls on the track team were wearing outfits circa 1982 and had about 15 min to run in, grab some dinner from McDonalds and then head back on the short bus to eat it.  And when I graduated girls track had been conference champions every year since the early 80s and had taken state more times than not.  The football team?  Not even close.

A week from today I’ll be starting grad school and to be honest, if I think about it I get nervous.  So I prefer not to.  A little denial never hurt anyone right?  But I have had to go the rounds with the financial aid office because it became apparent communication wasn’t their strong suit.  Going over fees I came across this:  Mandatory Registration Fees – $405.50.  Er, I’m sorry how much was that?  For a second I thought I read over four hundred dollars in fees.  Oh wait, I did??  So I continue reading to see what these mandatory fees include.  Stuff like campus radio (uh, ok), student health center, student center, blah blah blah.  None of these are more than $15 so where is my money going?  And then I read it:

“For this fiscal year, certain of the mandatory fees have an

administrative charge assessed on them.  This administrative

charge will be used this fiscal year to support UCA’s transition

to NCAA Division 1.”

Translation:  You have to pay $400 more dollars so UCA football can compete in a higher division.

WHAT???  AGHHH!!!!! Are you KIDDING me right now?  (Nope, remember they don’t kid about football)  And the real kicker is that they used to have this money.  But a few years ago they hired a new president who ended up embezzling hundreds of thousands of the university’s money and despite that, they still gave him a 6 figure pay out because he stepped down before his contract was up.  Smooth. Real smooth.

So it looks like things haven’t changed much from where they were 13 years ago.  Football apparently still rules, only now I’m out an additional $405.50 because of it.