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We’ve got soccer, basketball and lacrosse but no pigskin… Why?

“Eastern University Football undefeated since 1952,” jokingly proclaimed t-shirts made last year, emphasizing the lack of football on campus.

Unlike larger state schools where football games and tailgating are normal, Eastern places its athletic focus on the other ten sports that it offers its students.

Eastern is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference, which is a coalition of 11 religiously-affiliated NCAA Division III universities, and only one of those schools has a football team.

“For Eastern to have a football team, we would have to join a new PAC,” Bettie Ann Brigham said. “That would be very difficult.”

Since most of these schools are small private universities, the funds for a sport as expensive as football are not available.

The institution of football at Eastern would mean that several other programs would have to be taken away, which would only cause more of a loss to the students, according to Brigham.

Not only does Eastern battle with a lack of funds for the expenses of football such as uniforms, a stadium, and upkeep, the space needed for such an endeavor is also unavailable.

A NCAA regulation college football field measures 360 ft. by 160 ft., and Eastern does not have that amount of space to offer, especially with the other sports that need areas to practice and play as well.

According to Brigham, the only way Eastern could ever get football, at this point, would be for a donor to give a very large sum of money and to specify its use to be for a football team.

“If someone gave us $17 million to buy some land, build a stadium, hire coaches and start-up money for a football team,” Brigham said, “I’d take it.”

Although the future looks dim for an Eastern University football team, there are opportunities for students to play football.

There is a group of male students who regularly meet on Friday afternoons to play, and girls’ powder-puff has become a huge sensation on campus this semester, thanks to the efforts of sophomore Brittany O’Neal, who has organized an across-campus league.

“There are a little under 100 girls involved and about 15 coaches, all of them guys,” O’Neal said. “Games are Sunday nights at five, then on Sunday the 29th there’s the Superbowl,” she said.

So don’t lose hope, Eastern students. All you need is 17 million dollars, and an Eastern football team will no longer be just a joking matter around campus.

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