University Presidents Tackle Football's Future

A national reporting project with Brave New Films


Medical science, concussion lawsuits and the reality of the budget are changing the playing field for college football. A handful of programs are profitable; but most lose millions of dollars every year. And at a time of record student debt, universities often plug that financial hole by charging academic students fees to pay for the athletic program.

About This Project

Brave New Films, a non-partisan, non-profit documentary film organization, asked every Division I university president the same question:

What is the future of football at your university?

We promised the presidents their responses would be published in their entirety, and we also provided lots of time to respond. We contacted them last March with a deadline of June. As we approached the June deadline, we contacted those presidents who had not responded with a reminder. Any responses coming after the deadline, we’ve also included. If we get more responses in the future, we will add them as we receive them.

What the Presidents say

Click on the conference map below to see what your university president has to say about the future of football. You won’t find much. Most university presidents did not respond. In our research, Brave New Films believes it has discovered the surprising reason why. Click on the video above to find out. If you’re a parent or an athlete concerned about concussions be sure to listen to what concussion research expert Dr. Jonathan French says. He gives brain-saving advice. Everyone knows football is a violent sport. So why should a player who chooses to play and gets hurt be able to file a lawsuit? Listen to attorney Jason Luckasevic, the lawyer who filed the first concussion lawsuit against the NFL and who currently has a case against the NCAA. For those of you paying for a college education, what you don’t know could be costing you thousands. Listen to Ohio University’s David Ridpath, a former athletic director who’s become an expert on how athletic departments pay for an increasingly expensive program.

The Experts

  • Student Costs of Athletics
  • Risk of Litigation
  • Brain Saving Advice

NCAA Conferences

American Athletic Conference

American Athletic Conference - The American

Headquartered in Providence Rhode Island
Founded in 1979 Members 11

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Atlantic Athletic Conference Map

Atlantic Coast Conference - ACC

Headquartered in Greensboro North Carolina
Founded in 1953 Members 15

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Big Ten Map

Big Ten Conference - Big Ten

Headquartered in Rosemont Illinois
Founded in 1896 Members 14

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Big 12 Conference Map

Big 12 Conference - Big 12

Headquartered in Irving Texas
Founded in 1996 Members 10

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Conference USA Map

Conference USA - C-USA

Headquartered in Irving Texas
Founded in 1995 Members 14

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FBS Independents Map

Division I FBS Independents - Ind.

No Headquarters
Founded in Members 4

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Mid-American Conference Map

Mid-American Conference - MAC

Headquartered in Cleveland Ohio
Founded in 1946 Members 12

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Mountain West Conference Map

Mountain West Conference - MW

Headquartered in Colorado Springs Colorado
Founded in 1999 Members 11

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Pacific 12 Conference Map

Pacific-12 Conference - Pac-12

Headquartered in Walnut Creek California
Founded in 1959 Members 12

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Southeastern Conference Map

Southeastern Conference - SEC

Headquartered in Birmingham Alabama
Founded in 1932 Members 14

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Sun Belt Conference Map

Sun Belt Conference - Sun Belt

Headquartered in New Orleans Louisiana
Founded in 1976 Members 11

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