Funding Shortages Push Back Central State Football Program
Funding issues forced the delay of the return of Ohio’s Central State University Marauder football program, according to a report in the Dayton Daily News.
A fall 2004 comeback was highly anticipated at the historically Black school located in Xenia, Ohio, but approximately $600,000 is needed to reach the $1.5 million fund-raising goal before the team can retake the field (see Black Issues, April 8).
“We really wanted to do it this year, but for whatever reasons (including the economy), it didn’t happen,” CSU sports information director Kenneth Marshall told Black Issues. “But it gives us a chance to regroup, refocus on the fund raising and Coach (Theo) Lemon plans to work with the young men on campus and those who continue to come,” says Marshall, who is also head of athletic training, facility manager and golf coach.
Marshall adds that although the process has been pushed back, the Marauders do plan to play a scrimmage game at the CSU 2004 Homecoming.
Fund-raising efforts for the program include the athletic department’s Marauders’ “Brick House Project,” which offers alumni the opportunity to purchase engraved bricks that will be used to pave the entrance of the CSU football stadium. Head football coach Theo Lemon is also on a crusade to solicit the support of former CSU football players from across the country.
“We are still working to make it become a reality,” Marshall says about the return of the football program. “It’s just taking a little longer.”
The Central State University football program was sidelined in 1996 because of athletic eligibility errors and university budget difficulties.
— By Crystal L. Keels
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