For the last decade or so, Wichita State has firmly entrenched itself in being one of the premiere basketball programs in the country. The team has made countless appearances in the NCAA Tournament including a Final Four trip in 2013.
While basketball seems to be “their sport”, it looks like the school could be looking a different direction in the future. Wichita State hasn’t offered football since closing the program in 1986, citing budget problems.
The school brought up the idea of bringing it back in 1998, but nothing came to fruition. There haven’t been serious conversations of the sport returning, until now.
According to the Wichita Eagle, university president John Bardo let everyone know that he is working on discussing bringing football back to to school. He is also having discussions about the state of their current athletic programs and they are holding nothing back.
“Everything is on the table,” Bardo said Tuesday. “The sports we offer, facilities, conferences. This is about the university, and its ability to support the community and support our students.”
Bardo became the school’s president in 2012 and since then, he has believed that sports can be used as a means of helping to prioritize student life on campus. He isn’t sure that football could be an answer at this point, but he says is certainly going to look into it.
“Maybe football’s an answer, maybe soccer’s an answer,” he said. “This is not about football. This is about who we are and what we can do.
“I want to make sure we are addressing the interests of the people of Wichita, that includes our students and that includes the broader community. You have to actually actively explore.”
It could be a long road back to having Shocker football once again, but it certainly does look like it is a huge possibility.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports