Hendrix Trustees Vote 'Yes' To Restoration of Football Program

by ArkansasSports360.com Staff  on Tuesday, May. 6, 2008 2:05 pm  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

CONWAY -- Hendrix College's Board of Trustees directed the college's administrators to develop NCAA Division III non-scholarship intercollegiate football and women's lacrosse at the college.

Football has been absent from the college since the 1960 football season. 

U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson, who played on the last Hendrix football team, said of Tuesday's decision to restore football at his alma mater, "You've caused me to recall my days of glory."

The Warriors beat Ouachita 7-6 in that last game played the Friday before Thanksgiving 1960, Wilson said. "We didn't know it would be the last game at the time."

Wilson, a Hendrix graduate whose mother and father both attended the college, sits on the board of trustees and said he voted for the restoration of football.

"I believe that the last football team players had a higher grade-point average than the average of the general population of the students," Wilson said, adding, "We had some sure-enough scholars on there, but I was not one of them."

Asked whether he planned to attend the college's first football game, which likely will come some five decades after the last, the judge said: "I would have to do that ... if they don't wait too long. I'm getting old."

Trustees directed the college's administration to begin football and women's lacrosse contingent on raising start-up costs from external sources, ensuring that financial resources would not be taken from academic programs. Hendrix President J. Timothy Cloyd said establishing these sports would ultimately enhance academic opportunities at the 132-year-old college through the addition of professors and academic programs made possible by recent and continuing growth in the college's enrollment.

"The Board believes that the addition of these sports will support the efforts of Hendrix to increase the size, quality and diversity of its student body and to protect recent enrollment gains," according to a resolution approved by Trustees.

More than one-quarter of Hendrix's students participate in intercollegiate athletics.

Cloyd said fundraising for football would in no way interfere with the college's current $100 million capital campaign. A target date for the implementation of the new sports has not been determined.

"As Hendrix College continues to grow, we need to envision new ways to enhance the complete educational experience at Hendrix," said Marty Rhodes, a member of the college's Board of Trustees and co-chair of the college's Football Study Committee. "After significant research and a comprehensive discussion, the Board saw this as a constructive way to create new opportunities for future Hendrix College students through non-scholarship, Division III intercollegiate athletics."



Please read our comments policy before commenting.