The Interim Years: Attempts to Revive Football

Every decade since the 1940s, students and alumni have tried to resurrect football at ODU. Most ODU presidents were against it, especially Dr. Lewis Webb, ODU's first president (1946-69):

The War came on -- the boys were pulled out, and the football team was sacrificed. And, thank goodness, it's never been revived. (from ODU Oral History Interview, November 4, 1974)

Joseph "Scrap" Chandler (Athletic Director from 1942-1971) recalled that Webb responded to questions of reviving football with "football costs too much money. He'd had several inquiries about it from the newspapers and other people, and he just told them how much money it would cost." (from ODU Oral History Interview, October 28, 1975)

According to Dr. James Sweeney, in 1968 Authur B. Metheny (Athletic Coach from 1948-1980) "indicated that football was definitely coming to Old Dominion; it was just a question of when." Metheny's response: ".... It’s a matter of finances, that’s what it boils down to." (from ODU Oral History Interview, May 29, 1975)

Students, faculty, and the public were surveyed many times over the decades to determine their interest in football. Twice in the 1980s there was serious pressure to resume football. There was definitely interest. But feasibility studies always came down to cost.

Finally, Roseann Runte listened to the football buzz begun again in 2004, studied the feasibility of football, and again surveyed the public for interest and commitment. Football would become a reality.

Click on the bold links and images below for full page images.

Mace and Crown Articles
The Virginian-Pilot

Mace and Crown Articles

High Hat: November 24, 1954 -- Will Division ever have another football team?

May 14, 1973 -- Club Football Kicked Around by Students

September 9, 1982 -- Football, ODU, and all that jazz

December 6, 1982 -- ODU could learn a lot from West Georgia football

January 17, 1983 -- Letters to the Editor regarding ODU football

October 3, 1983 -- Student apathy is stumbling block to ODU football

April 11, 1985 -- Is the administration clouding football study?

October 17, 1985 -- Football and Education

November 14, 1985 -- Initiating football will not adversly affect integrity of Old Dominion University

November 14, 1985 -- The football issue: club, lack of funds, lack of patience, not enough answers

January 30, 1986 -- Football threatens to hike tuition costs

September 18, 1986 -- Football long overdue

January 29, 1987 -- Plans for ODU football team await funding

March 17, 1988 -- Division I-AAA football a possibility in 1990

April 7, 1988 -- Football is the answer to our prayers

April 13, 1989 -- Student football funding axed for '89-'90

December 7, 1989 -- Return football funds

December 7, 1989 -- Beating a dead horse one more time

November 7, 1991 -- An ODU Football Fantasy: An ODU Football Reality

November 21, 1991 -- Football would score a touchdown for campus unity

October 3, 1995 -- Time for Pigskin at ODU: What we need is a football team (page 2)

December 8, 1999 -- ODU Football, Let the Students Decide

September 6, 2000 -- Old Dominion needs a football team

September 26, 2001 -- Football at Old Dominion? One day, but not now

October 2, 2001 -- From the Press Box


News Clippings: The Virginian-Pilot *

October 31, 1985 -- The time is right for ODU football now

April 12, 2000 -- Pass or Play? Students To Vote On ODU Football (page 2)

April 15, 2000 -- ODU Students Want Football, But Don't Want to Pick Up Tab (page 2)

November 17, 2004 -- Football at ODU? Discussion resumes

* Reprinted with permission of the Virginian Pilot.

An exhibit of the Old Dominion University Libraries. Fall 2009