JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Earlier this year, it seemed football and the University of North Florida were about to unite.
"I've yet to meet with either a student or alumni group that didn't ask about football,” UNF President John Delaney said.
But this week when we sat down for a one-on-one interview with Delaney, let’s just say it was far from a touchdown.
"It just looks a little gloomy. We're still looking at it, but the numbers look pretty tough,” he said.
Turns out, it’s about double the price UNF originally thought it would be to bring a football program to the university, mainly because of the cost of scholarships. Delaney tell us about 65 scholarships would mean a couple million dollars needed in scholarship money and that’s on top of travel, equipment, and the cost of coaches.
"Essentially, we need enrollment to come close to doubling to really be able to make it work,” Delaney said.
Right now, UNF has about 16,400 students. To make it work, Delaney feels enrollment would need to hit 25,000 and he says that’s a bit of a ways down the road.
"10-15 years out is when that magic number would be likely,” said Delaney. “I don't anticipate that I'll still be at UNF, but whoever is president then can take a look at it again."