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Date Posted: Mon, November 08 2004, 14:51:01
Author: duck
Subject: Invisible Mavericks

We have a serious visibility problem at UTA. Especially during the election cycle this fall, news about UTA has been very hard to find in the local and regional news outlets. The papers may do a weekly 2 column inch note about how the Volleyball team is doing, but for the most part, Texas-Arlington does not exist in the news or public consciousness. Is it possible that the reintroduction of college football on the Arlington campus will be a potential cure for UTA’s invisibility? Maybe.

Some urge that bringing back football at UTA would be good for the school and the community for a number of reasons.

• It would give the school publicity, making it more visible,
• motivate the community and alums to be more generous,
• make the university community more spirited and unified,
• enable the University to engage in serious developmental campaigns, and
• allow university leaders to realistically aspire to achieving the regional prominence that would enable UTA to more effectively compete for “flagship” status.

Others argue that UTA should conserve its resources and not squander them on mere athletics. They see those resources as being fixed, a “zero sum” amount of support that cannot be expected to grow over time or under different circumstances.

Looking North, we can readily see two examples of how much visibility football can bring to a university, and how much invisibility the other non-football schools have. UNT is much better known than its neighbor, Texas Women’s University. While it is not at all clear that UNT is as good an institute of higher learning, it is clearly the more well known of the two Denton Universities, mainly because of football.

We simply cannot afford to be invisible in a community the size of Arlington. I hope Jim Spaniolo will have the vision and leadership necessary to allow UTA to move up out of this box of invisibility.

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