When Football was Cancelled

I appreciated Blake Timm's comprehensive look at the history of football at Pacific. I thought I could add a few details on the decision to drop football in 1992...Thomas Beck, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, 1991-2003, Forest Grove, Ore.

Share this

I appreciated Blake Timm's comprehensive look at the history of football at Pacific. I thought I could add a few details on the decision to drop football in 1992. Following the dreadful 1991 season, which drew little fan interest, the Dean of Students, Meg O'Hara approached me as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences with responsibility for athletics with the idea of ending football. Her concern was the impact of football on a college with just 400 men.

I had met with Coach Singler at the end of the season and requested a report on what it would take to have a winning team. He reported back in January 1992 that it would require an investment of about $50,000, which would have increased the football budget by 25 percent. While Coach Singler's request was reasonable, it was not possible given the college's overall budget situation, especially after the faculty had voted to drop football two years earlier. President Duvall had rejected that advice partly based on alumni promises of increased financial support that never appeared.

Combining the need for a new stadium, the concerns from the Dean of Students, the faculty opinion, the
low attendance, but most of all the severe strain on the college budget, the decision to end football was
taken quickly in February [1992]. In the 1992-93 academic year we used the football funds to put the floor
in the field house after having a dirt floor for the building's first 25 years and for increasing the library
budget.

As Blake described, the situation has changed radically both for Pacific and for the Northwest Conference, and we all hope that the hiatus from football has buried the losing tradition from the 1980s, and we can now begin a new winning tradition.

Thomas Beck
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, 1991-2003
Forest Grove, Ore.