Alot has been made of Judy’s “fantasy dollars” comment from the piece WCNC6 did on the CFI and the Charlotte football movement. Those comments seem to create quite the furor here and has also created the “Fantasy” craze that is sweeping NinerNation currently.
Below is the email I sent to Judy about the topic and then her response.
[QUOTE]I appreciate you taking the time to interview with WCNC for the piece on the movement to bring football to Charlotte. Unfortunately, 60 minutes of tape was edited to 2 minutes and all people heard you say was we can’t build a football team on “Fantasy Dollars”. I have included a link in case you missed the final product:
While your absolutely correct that we can’t start a team with “fantasy dollars”, what we have been trying to do is simply what the University has been unwilling to do, gauge the interest and see if it is something worth the University pursuing. Your comment has been viewed by many as a slap in the face to the hard work many are putting into this endeavor and seen as just another example to some that we will never have football as long as you are the Athletics Director. I don’t necessarily share this view and I realize that what you said could have very easily been taken out of context so I wanted to give you an opportunity to clarify what you meant and let people exactly how you feel about the movement for football. Now I realize that your public stance on football cannot differ from the administration’s stance, so I certainly don’t expect a total endorsement, but I don’t she how it could be out of line to say that for football to become a reality at Charlotte there will have to be a large groundswell of support for it from the Alumni, the students and the community as a whole.
I wanted to give you the opportunity to clarify what you meant and hopefully end the rampant “speculation” about what you meant.
Thanks for your time,
Thank you for your note and I appreciate you noticing the context in which our comments were recorded. I would like you to know that I, in no way, was trying to belittle your efforts or those of anyone that has a genuine interest in bringing football to UNC Charlotte. The term “fantasy dollars” was meant only to distinguish that pledges, until money is the bank, are just that – pledges. I know that we have no mechanism in place for you and other supporters to donate money for football, simply because we haven’t charted when football will become a reality. Unfortunately, we have been burned in the past by well-intentioned supporters and thus I am more reluctant than some when it comes to these efforts. I shared some thoughts today with leaders of the SGA and took on the football issue right out of the gate. I told them of a “pledge” we received about four years ago for one million dollars. This was money that was to be used for our new practice facility, and helped push us over the top to where we could actually make that facility a reality. Unfortunately, to date, we have never seen the first penny of that money. If the University had not helped us out we would be digging out from under a one million dollar deficit that would still be affecting our ability to compete years later. The same issue happened on a smaller scale when we built the Belk Track and Field.
That being said, I am sure that those who have pledged have every intention of fulfilling those pledges, but an initial steady diet of Division II or non-scholarship Division I-AA programs may wear thin on these supporters as they reach in their wallets year after year during our fledgling start. The athletic department is not scared of football, and recognizes the sizeable positives that would come from such a program. That being said, we cannot jeopardize the financial underpinnings of the institution, nor damage the significant political gains that have built over the past several years. UNC Charlotte is making steady progress under the leadership of Chancellor Dubois, and we will follow his lead on this issue. The remarkable growth in students and facilities did not come about without considerable planning and thought. The same productive process will be exercised in the discussion regarding football.
I wish you well in your efforts.