A Letter to the Editor: A Sense of Embarrassment


Bailey Memorial Stadium. ©Mitchell Mercer

Gary McKinney, Guest Writer

Dear editor,

I am writing to express my current embarrassment with the Presbyterian College Blue Hose football program. 

As a graduate of PC’s class of 1975, I remembered back in the day where we played schools that you didn’t have to do all kinds of research to find out who they are and where they are located. Instead, we played nearby institutions where we had local friends and had fun with the rivalry games. 

Back then, PC was part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, a small college league where we played tons of smaller, private schools that were the same size as us. Within NAIA, we were still able to defeat Furman, The Citadel, and Wofford. 

By playing these schools and winning against them, it helped build the Blue Hose football program into a well liked and respected organization, while opening the door for the whole PC community to come out and support the team.

Additionally, we even defeated Western Carolina and Elon while I was at PC, the former of which was one of the top schools in all of NAIA at the time.

In the early 2000s, a lot of my own graduating class were excited when we expanded Bailey Memorial Stadium and began the transition to the Division I ranks of the NCAA, following years of success playing at the Division II level. It was cool to know that our own Blue Hose could have the opportunity to play at a Power Five school like USC or Clemson for several years, which would give PC an excellent exposure to the main college football scene. 

However, just as our program was beginning to build, the administration decided to make the move to the Pioneer Football League, a conference full of schools that offer no scholarships of any kind to their own football programs. 

With players and coaches moving on to other institutions left and right, this essentially destroyed football at PC. 

Unfortunately, I am sure that the great Coach Gault would be sad if he had lived to see this. 

Right now, I can say that very few from my own class even follow the program any longer. Our Sagarin rating, which measures and ranks all Division I football programs in both FBS and FCS, is an anemic 11.92, which is 261st out of 261 schools. 

We are now at the bottom of the NCAA Division I ratings! 

Personally, I think PC should consider the option of making football a club sport here on campus. While the Pioneer Football League is a Division I conference and the conference champion does get an automatic qualifier to the Division I FCS playoffs, the league is essentially a club football conference. Within most schools that are in the Pioneer League, their own Sagarin rating is below 20.0, which isn’t far off from where PC stands. 

With the Blue Hose finding themselves playing in the Pioneer Football League and for however long they do participate in the conference, I personally think that the current situation facing the program will never drive the same energy and passion that football once generated at PC. 


Gary McKinney (‘75)