Xavier Considering Football

Editor’s Note 11/1/2023: Xavier University decided in October 2023 that it will not be adding football in the near term as it focuses on other campus priorities.

Xavier University is considering the addition of football and a decision on the matter is expected by the end of 2023. Xavier athletic director Greg Christopher went on the record to discuss football with The Cincinnati Enquirer.

“I keep calling it a definite maybe. The program itself makes sense. The challenge we have is we don’t have a facility. We’re trying to balance the football idea with building a College of Medicine facility. We’ll try to make a decision by the end of the year,” Christopher told Jason Williams in the interview.

Xavier is a member of the Big East Conference, which doesn’t sponsor football but four current Big East members currently have football teams. Butler is a member of the Pioneer Football League, Connecticut is an FBS independent, Georgetown is a member of the Patriot League, and Villanova is in the CAA. Christopher specifically stated that Butler and Dayton – current members of the PFL – are the schools he uses as benchmark comparisons.

Assuming the Big East doesn’t make a return to football and Xavier decides not to go the scholarship football route, the PFL would be a likely destination as the school has signaled it would bring the sport back in a non-scholarship function. If Xavier added football, it would give the PFL 12 members: Butler, Davidson, Dayton, Drake, Marist, Morehead State, Presbyterian, San Diego, St. Thomas (MN), Stetson, Valparaiso, and Xavier.

For the Musketeers, it would be a return to the gridiron after five decades for a program that has its place in college football history. Xavier ended up as the first win for the Marshall football team in 1971 following the tragic plane crash in 1970. The football program began in 1900 and played its final season in 1973, which spawned the “Undefeated Since 1973″ t-shirt available for purchase. Xavier played as an independent team and the costs of running the program became too much for the school to continue sponsoring the sport.

Photo courtesy of Xavier University

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