A football team at York College? It’s a myth, with some roots in reality

The front of a T-shirt sold at the bookstore. (Photo by Molly McCullough)

By Molly McCullough

Has York College had a football team?

According to Karen Rice-Young, who is in charge of the Archives and Special Collections here at York College, the answer is no.

That’s quite ironic considering the bookstore sells a shirt that says “Undefeated Since 1787,” whic is one of the most popular items at the bookstore. Even though York College of Pennsylvania never had a football team, York Collegiate Institute did have a football team for 16 years.

For years there has been an urban legend going around that football was shut down by a board member because his or her son suffered a concussion during a game. However, the truth is that football was dropped from the Institute because of insufficient funds, equipment, and facilities.

The back of that same T-shirt. (Photo by Molly McCullough)

Can you imagine if York College actually had a football team? It’s rare, but there are small schools nationally that have teams. Here’s a two-year-old list of some of the smallest ones, including the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, which has around 4,000 students. It’s a Christina School located in Belton, Texas.

Scott Guise, the director of athletic communications, would be among those greatly affected if the unthinkable ever happened. And, no, there’s no talk of starting a team. It was more of a “what if” discussion in class one day that drew some fuel from the T-shirt and stories about a previous team.

The football team of York Collegiate Institute. (YCP Library archives)

“The staff would probably have to be bigger, the training room would have to be bigger, our administrative suite would probably have to be bigger,” Guise said.

So would the fan base, something that already can be elusive. “I don’t know about the student interest,” Guise said, adding, “The one thing that we’ve discovered in the athletic department is that our main supporters of student athletes are student athletes themselves.”

Molly McCullough is a junior at York College of Pennsylvania and a Sport Media major.

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