Professor James M. Krueger submitted the following document to Faculty Senate Executive Committee for discussion and comment.
UPDATE November 10, 2020: This document and all faculty comments were presented to President Schulz on October 27, 2020. We requested President Schulz provide an official response, which we received today and is linked below.
Whereas chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a common condition caused by playing football and is associated with life-long brain damage and cognitive disabilities.
Whereas as an institution of higher education our highest goal is to enhance the cognitive abilities of our students.
Whereas joint injury is caused by playing football and often creates a life-long disability.
Whereas football is a form of entertainment, not an academic pursuit, and its entertainment value is not part of the WSU mission.
Whereas the WSU Athletic Program is greatly in debt, approaching $100,000,000, and this debt continues to increase.
Whereas in 2021 there will be no WSU football season due to SARS-CoV-2 and the PAC 12 cancellation of intercollegiate games.
Whereas the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has substantially harmed WSU financial prospects, and this will likely continue into 2022.
Whereas athletic donations barely cover the cost of football scholarships.
Whereas diversion of funds to the athletic program diminishes the WSU academic program and thereby falls under the purview of the WSU Faculty Senate.
We hereby submit that WSU:
- Put all employees associated with the intercollegiate football program on indefinite furlough.
- Start the process of removing WSU intercollegiate football from the WSU athletic program.
- Continue to pay scholarships to the football players promised such until they graduate, but not initiate any new football scholarships.
- Request the WSU Faculty Senate develop position statements related to the incompatibilities of football with any institution of higher education.
It is anticipated that the financial savings to WSU will be substantial and thereby enhance our academic programs.
It is anticipated that WSU will be recognized as a national leader in higher education by eliminating harm done to our students for the sake of entertainment.
James M. Krueger, PhD, MDHC, Regents Professor