Wichita State President John Bardo Tweets Photo of Possible Shockers Football Helmet

By Dave Martin, Epoch Times
February 3, 2016 7:04 pm Last Updated: February 4, 2016 10:47 am

The Wichita State Shockers haven’t had a football team since the school shut down the program in 1986. Could that be changing soon?

A tweet by Wichita State President John Bardo seems to indicate it’s a possibility.

He then followed it up with this tweet:

And if that wasn’t enough he even brought up the possibility of a marching band for the football team.

The Shockers had an NCAA Division I football program from 1945 through 1986 but had to cut the program 30 years ago due to mounting financial losses.

Not that they were a powerhouse in the first place.

The team went through 17 head coaches in just 42 years, while making a grand total of three bowl games—losing them all—and winning five Missouri Valley Conference titles.

The topic of revisiting the football program has come up periodically over the past three decades and in December of 2015 it came up again—but this was the first time the subject was broached under Bardo, who’s been president since 2012.

“Everything is on the table,” Bardo said according to Kansas.com. “The sports we offer, facilities, conferences. This is about the university, and its ability to support the community and support our students.”

What the community can support will largely depend on money. A football program at the FBS level costs roughly $13 million per season to run, according to Bardo—which would nearly double Wichita State’s current $18 million athletic budget.

in 1998, a 17-person committee gave a recommendation to then-president Gene Hughes that the school bring back the football program. But after approaching major donors and large corporations for support—and apparently not getting any—the school decided against bringing it back.

The time seems right for a football program right now with the school already boasting a powerhouse baseball program and a rising basketball team.

It won’t be easy, though, as the rural state produces few FBS-level players per season with both Kansas and Kansas State competing for recruits in the same area.