Cabrera fields 'the football question' [VIDEO]

George Mason University’s incoming president Ángel Cabrera said he wouldn’t “make that mistake” and fully answer the question readers and WGMU listeners told us we had to ask, “How do you feel about a football team?”

But he did share his “philosophy” on university athletics.

“I think sports and athletics are a key part of an enriched learning experience, but they have to be looked at as serving the academic mission of an institution,” Cabrera said in an interview Thursday morning with members of Student Media.

Cabrera went on to say that while he thinks Mason has the right approach, at “some other institutions,” the “football team becomes more important than the rest of the university.”

“It’s almost ‘the tail wagging the dog,’” said Cabrera. “It looks more like a football team with a university attached to it somehow, and I think that’s wrong.”

A desire for NCAA intercollegiate football has come up in a number of online and offline student conversations and comments about President Alan Merten’s decision to step down in summer 2012. Merten, while a proud supporter of men and women’s basketball, is painted by some to hold a similar position as Cabrera, and to have halted progress towards an intercollegiate football team, largely due to cost.

Mason’s club football team brought home the National Club Football Association Mid-Atlantic Conference championship trophy earlier this month with a win over the VCU Rams. The team, which has been playing since 1993, plays on Saturdays during its season, at the RAC Field and away. They finished the regular season with a 4-6 record.


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