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I'd like to UTA to add Women's Soccer, independent of any football decision for the following reasons:
1) UTA is increasingly becoming one of the few D1 schools to not offer the sport. There are 323 DI Women's Soccer programs as of this year. Comparatively, there are 347 Men's Basketball teams and 345 Women's Basketball programs. So UTA is one of only 24 DI teams without it, a percentage of 7 percent.
2) All of our conference mates have it. In the SLC, we were one of two who didn't sponsor it. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has since announced they are adding it. The new members of the SLC will have it (New Orleans had announced the addition of soccer for moving to DII, so I am assuming they will have it), meaning every full member of the SLC will sponsor the sport. In the WAC we were the only school to not sponsor it and when we join the SBC, we will be the only school to not sponsor it. This leads to -
3) It would increase our Commissioners Cup standings. In the WAC, only Denver, with 9, didn't offer the most sports the conference offered. As it stands now, we (with 54 points) are 7th in the standings and sit 2.5 points behind San Jose St and 10.5 points behind Denver. I know we will catch and pass both of those with our strong spring sport showings, but we won't catch Idaho, Utah State or UTSA, who are all above 70 points right now. With Women's Soccer, we might. We are tied for fourth in average points per sport. As with the SLC, we will finish middle of the pack not because we field middle of the pack teams, but because we don't sponsor as many sports as those ahead of us.
4) It would help fill a void in the fall. I am glad our cross country team is nationally competitive, but it doesn't exactly generate student pride and activity like a spectator sport could. It would also give a University function to Maverick Stadium in the fall that doesn't exist right now.
5) The investment would be manageable. Using the Nienas Report as a guide, which is somewhat off because that was done as a package deal with both Women's Golf and Football, they wouldn't need a practice field, would need 5,000 sq ft for a locker room and other related-facilities and could be had for 1 million or less, adjusting for inflation. The program would cost less than $500,000 a year once it is up and running full, which is about 6-7% of our current budget.
6) Consider these numbers from schools in Division 1: Of the schools that sponsor football, 4 1-A schools don't have soccer and 11 1-AA don't. 92 teams sponsor Women's Soccer who don't football. This would give the admin a way to temper expectations about a future football team.