At What Price Football?

As some programs suit up (and others disband), one team's early success could be instructive

At What Price Football? 1

Matt Eich for The Chronicle

Bobby Wilder, head coach of Old Dominion U.'s football team—reborn in 2009 after an absence of 69 years—speaks to the university's booster club, whose numbers grew almost 50 percent over the past year.

Old Dominion University's fledgling football team received an unusual boost this month when three players from two now-defunct Division I programs signed on to play for the Monarchs next season.

It was the steep price tag of football that prompted the two universities, Northeastern and Hofstra, which like Old Dominion are members of the Colonial Athletic Association, to discontinue their teams after decades of competition. Yet the Monarchs, which have a football team for the first