GCU president says adding football would take away from other programs

Feb 26, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: 5:40 pm

Oscar Frayer #4 of the Grand Canyon Lopes celebrates with his team after defeating the Seattle Univ...

Oscar Frayer #4 of the Grand Canyon Lopes celebrates with his team after defeating the Seattle University Redhawks during a semifinal game of the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament at the Orleans Arena on March 12, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

Grand Canyon University president Brian Mueller said his school’s athletic program feels like Disneyland right now.

The men’s basketball team is 19-7 under head coach Bryce Drew following last year’s NCAA Tournament berth. The baseball team had record-setting opening night attendance last week and softball is off to a 10-3 start.

Mueller told 98.7 FM Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta during Newsmakers Week that while GCU sports is on the rise, the possibility of adding a football program is not currently under consideration.

“It’s a tough one, because you’d have to eliminate so much else,” Mueller said. “With Title IX rules and you’ve got to build a 50,000-seat arena or stadium, you’re really going to lose money for 10 to 15 years and you’d have to get that money someplace else.”

Mueller joked that he gets asked about football multiple times each day.

He said GCU will stick with basketball as the premier sport and feels that the national recognition of reaching the NCAA Tournament is priceless. The Antelopes sold out each home game this season so far, according to Mueller.

GCU is a growing university having welcomed its largest incoming class yet of 9,000 new students in 2021. The sporting venues are all on campus and Mueller said the athletes are integrated with the rest of the school without separated dorms or classes.

“It’s exciting for me to see an athletic program that is really, really well integrated with the rest of the student body and it’s getting lot of support as a result of that,” Mueller said.

Keeping the healthy dynamic intact is more important than the “long haul” of adding a football program to Mueller.

Grand Canyon University

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GCU president says adding football would take away from other programs