Following an 85-0 loss to the DeVry University “Fightin’ Stenographers,” the termination of Princeton University’s football program is being discussed as a budget-cutting measure, according to University president Shirley Tilghman.
“It really seems like the logical next step for the program. We’ve been discussing the possibility since our loss to Ottawa Deaf and Blind School two weeks ago,” says Tilghman, alluding to a recent string of defeats to teams which include such “perennial pushovers” as Central Montreal Junior High School and The Quebec City Children’s Hospital.
“It would release a great deal of capital that could be used to stave off the need to let go of staff,” says budget analyst Kate Braunstein. “As it is, we’re paying $35 million a year to be humiliated. That money could be used to create the Center for Eskimo Understanding that we’ve been struggling to fund.”
Finishing at 5th in the Ivy League last year, the team had high hopes going into the new season but the injury of running back Jordan Culbreath ’10 damaged team morale. “We told the players that we were taking Culbreath to Western Pennsylvania to live with a nice farm family, but [kicker] Ben [Bologna] saw us take him behind the ol’ woodshed and heard the shot. The boys just ain’t been the same since,” says Head Coach Roger Hughes.
Despite the support of the university administration, the proposal has not been without its detractors. Princeton’s student body president, Connor Diemand-Yauman, has taken the rare step of breaking with President Tilghman’s office on this issue. “Think about it: grade deflation already means that no more than 30% of us can get A’s. If we stop recruiting for football, we lose the bottom 10% of each class. That means that 10% fewer real students will get the grades they need for grad school,” Diemand-Yauman said in an interview with Tiger on Saturday.
Supporting Diemand-Yauman, the trustees held a press conference in which they declared their opposition to an end to football at Princeton, citing an 1894 by-law in the “Ye Olde Ivy League Sporting Agreement” which stipulates that membership in the Ivy League is contingent upon fielding a football team for at least two games a year.
Other coaches also expressed concern over the precedent set by such a move. “If they start cutting sports teams just because they’re embarrassing and the school needs to save money, who knows what’s next? Lacrosse players may not be the most consent-crazy guys in the world, but they’re a vital part of our culture,” said Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach Chris Bates.
In the end, termination may win out. The university administration is already in negotiations with Governor Corzine (D-NJ) to legalize gladiatorial combat in New Jersey and split the profits from having the former football players fight in the stadium. “It would turn an embarrassing program into something unique and finally sell some tickets. There’s no reason that we shouldn’t take advantage of this situation. When life gives you lemons, make money and bloody corpses on the sands of an arena, as my father used to say,” pontificated dissenting trustee Mark Siegler ’63, “That Jew better listen to me. I donated a goddamm institute.”
-Lucius Lund VIII