Autumn is slowly making its way to Arkansas and for many students at John Brown University that means one thing: football season is here. Students at surrounding colleges are spending their Saturdays tailgating, representing their school pride and cheering on their football teams, but not at JBU.
Every fall at JBU it becomes painstakingly apparent to many students what they’re missing without a football program on campus. With the University of Arkansas and their nationally ranked football team only a half an hour drive away, most JBU students have been exposed in one way or another to the college football experience.
There is a split down the middle of the student body at JBU of people who long for a Golden Eagle football program and those who are not affected by the lack of one.
“I hate the fact that we don’t have football games to attend,” Kristen Bauer, sophomore, said. “I enjoy soccer games occasionally, and I love the Toilet Paper Game, but I would no doubt be at every JBU football game.”
Bauer sees the value in JBU’s other sports programs but longs for the surge in school spirit football would bring.
“Football is the only sport my family and I keep up with … I wish I could tell them about JBU’s latest football game,” Bauer said.
Second year rugby player Eric Seevers has a different opinion.
“I think not having a football program at JBU is fine. A lot of the guys who would be interested in playing the sport are a part of the rugby program, and the team benefits a lot from their involvement,” Seevers said, “It’s almost as if we do have a football team here but just on a different field because when it’s all said and done, rugby and football are very similar sports.”
For some people, the lack of football on campus doesn’t mean much either way.
“I’m honestly very indifferent,” freshman Claire Warrington said. “In high school we didn’t have a school football team. I enjoy a Friday night football game like anyone else, but it’s not a priority to me. If JBU had a team, then I would definitely go to some games, but the program wouldn’t really affect me either way. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by not having a team here.”