College Sports

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: WWU football supporters plan rally

Efforts to save the Western Washington University football program could take a decidedly vocal turn on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Supporters of the WWU football program are planning a rally in protest of the school's recent decision to drop its football team.

The group, working primarily through the Web site www.savewwufootball.com, will be picketing in front of Carver Gymnasium on WWU's campus before the start of Saturday's men's basketball game between the Vikings and Seattle Pacific.

"We just want the administration to understand that we're in this for the long haul," former WWU player Jason Stiles in a phone interview. "We're not going to let this go after a few days or a few weeks. As much as anything, we just want to raise awareness about the process by which this decision was made."

WWU announced on Thursday, Jan. 8, that it was cutting its football program as a cost-cutting measure to help offset state mandated budget cuts. Stiles said several former players and alumni are expected at the rally.

"We're all husbands and fathers," Stiles said. "We aren't looking to cause a problem. We just want people to know this is something we feel very strongly about."

Western's football program began in 1903 and compiled a 383-380-34 record over its 98 seasons. The Vikings most recently competed at the NCAA Division II level.

Reach Joe Sunnen at joe.sunnen@bellinghamherald.com or 756-2862

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