Friday, December 11, 2009

Reaction to HU dropping football: Ex-player Jim Shannon

(All members of the Hofstra community are invited to share their thoughts about the dropping of the football program by emailing Defiantly Dutch at

I’m pretty devastated actually. When I got there in ’92, it was a mess. I feel like the ’95, ’96, ’97 classes were the reasons the programs turned around. We were all misfits with a chip on our shoulders and sort of passed that down to the classes after us. It all started in ’94 when we went 8-1-1 and almost made the playoffs in only our second year as a full-fledged I-AA program. We put so much blood, sweat and tears into becoming a great program and we started putting out All-Americans yearly, which is why [Dec. 3] was one of the saddest days I can remember.

We built the foundation for a hugely successful program, led by Coach Gardi and his staff. I never thought this day would come, only because of all the I-AA schools in America, none has produced top-notch NFL stars like Hofstra. Did it cross my mind? Yes, because Rabinowitz is a notorious football hater and Hayes is a basketball guy and the program tanked when Cohen was hired. But to me, it’s the easy way out to cancel football. Of the 100-plus I-AA schools, maybe a handful make money. But the attendance issue is a lie, we didn’t get any fans either and we were successful, so I don’t buy it. The bottom line is they want to prop up basketball, no matter what they say.

I’m sitting here at work talking to Pat Clark, Jon Evjen, Pete O’Donovan, Hans Sebald and Jim Emanuel, just disgusted and sad. When you put all you have into something—whether it’s work, school, marriage or sports—and it ends, there is sadness.

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