Football lures males to small colleges

July 10, 2006 at 10:18 AM
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NEW YORK, July 10 (UPI) -- Facing a shortage of male students, many small U.S. colleges are using football to narrow the gender gap on their campuses, The New York Times reported.

According to a report Monday, schools like Shenandoah University in Virginia and Seton Hall University in Pennsylvania have found that establishing football teams is the answer to attracting more male students.

"I could have started a spiffy new major of study, spent a lot of money on lab equipment and hired a few new high-powered professors," Seton Hall President JoAnne Boyle told the Times. "Instead, I started a football team, brought in hundreds of paying students, added a vibrant piece to our campus life and broadened our recognition factor."

Last year's freshman class at Seton Hall, formerly a women's school, was the first with more males than females.

At Shenandoah, adding football has narrowed the gender gap from 35 percent male six years ago to 41 percent today.

Seton Hall and Shenandoah are among nearly 50 colleges and universities that have added or re-instituted football, most of them in the small college category, the Times said.

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