In Response to: Time to end a sport?

Ending sprint football is not the solution. Sprint football alumni have created an endowment that is large enough to fund all the costs for the program. Therefore, ending the program would not provide any additional economic benefit to Princeton.  

The program has not been very competitive recently. The lightweight team has compiled a 4­–78 record since the fall of 1998, when the program was stripped of admission slots. In the 10 years prior to 1998, the program received six admission slots, had a competitive record, and even won the 1989 championship. Currently, sprint football is the only varsity sport that is comprised completely of walk-on athletes and does not receive any assistance through admissions. In addition, the sprint football team is the only varsity sport on campus that does not have a full-time University employee as its head coach.

The program still remains popular on campus, and the coaches do an excellent job of providing numerous experiences that cannot be taught in a classroom. In addition, the alumni have tackled the challenge of finding sprint football players with recent attempts to increase awareness of the sport and the University among high school students around the country, especially in the urban environments that Princeton is targeting for new applicants. We also are trying to increase the yield of accepted students by emphasizing to potential players that a similar program does not exist at Stanford, Harvard, or Yale.

One of the lessons that football taught me is to get up after I am knocked down and not to quit. While the program may be down now, the current players and its alumni will never quit and will continue to develop innovative ways of finding players for the program so that someday our program can be successful again.

Arthur “P.J.” Chew ’95
Captain, sprint football ’94; President, Friends of Princeton Sprint Football, 1997-2012; Linwood, N.J.