Athletics Aren’t – and Shouldn’t Be – a Priority


The student athletes featured in The Fordham Ram’s latest YouTube video titled “Scooters: Perks or Problem?” debunked a common misconception positing that student athletes (predominantly male sports teams) are provided electric scooters by the university. 

Athletes interviewed for the video confirmed that the scooters were not paid for or provided by Fordham Athletics or any other university department, despite many students on campus believing so. It’s important to consider why this rumor not only started, but is so commonly believed. 

The general perception is that the university administration favors Fordham Athletics and its student athletes more than any other student group on campus or department. On the other hand, the university is concerned that students are not showing an active enough interest in the school’s athletic departments or sports teams. 

On April 7, 2022, Fordham Athletics announced in a press release that it would pursue a partnership with Inter-Collegiate Athletic Consulting (ICAC) to review the athletics department. One of the aims of the partnership is to address the lack of engagement with sports at Fordham. 

It is clear that Fordham is having trouble understanding where the dissonance between students and athletics lies, but, considering the various pull factors of Fordham University, it seems that students largely are not choosing to enroll at the university to support its sports teams. 

Fordham University is not a “football school.” 

When students choose to study at a university in New York City, one of the main attractions is not the reputation of the sports team at the specific university. At Fordham, most non-athletic students are ambivalent about the university’s sports teams unless they are closely involved with sports culture or are attending a special event like Homecoming. 

Outside of Athletics, few students benefit from the investments in athletic facilities. There is no need to pursue a reputation of a “football school” at Fordham University when many students are pursuing a liberal arts education uninvolved from athletics. 

A consultation with Inter-Collegiate Athletic Consulting isn’t necessary to know sports isn’t a priority for Fordham students simply because sports was not a major consideration for many students choosing to enroll. If this is the case, what did turn potential students into enrolled students? 

The most obvious pull factor is the location in New York City, one of the densest, opportunity-rich cities in the world where students could explore and boost career opportunities. The culture of Fordham’s city alone is enough to stand as the university’s sole attraction (and for some students it may very well be), but Fordham has other merits that pull students in more than sports. 

Fordham itself is ranked in the top 50 for Undergraduate Teaching by U.S. News national college rankings. As a university, Fordham has a high-standing reputation for academic excellence that makes it a desirable location for higher education. Why, then, is the university attempting to make sports the attraction that it simply isn’t? 

As recent articles published by the Ram have pointed out, both the class of 2025 and the class of 2026 have shown a significant increase in the number of students at the university. It has become clear that campus resources and facilities are being stretched. Since a large portion of Fordham students do not prioritize the university’s athletics and other aspects of the university are in need of funding, it is the Ram’s position that the university should consider redistributing some of its funds to other areas.