Update: Students voted against the proposal.
There are 120 teams in Division I-A college football, but some are on the list by name only. They truly don't belong on the same field as the big boys.
Louisiana Monroe is one such team. The Warhawks have yet to play in a bowl game since the program was elevated to I-A in 1994 and the program remains woefully underfunded. According to the Monroe News-Star, Louisiana Monroe has the lowest annual athletic budget — $8.5 million — in I-A. Of that total, $2.98 million went to football in 2009, according to the Equity in Athletics Database.
Now the school holding out a tin cup in hopes the 6,007-member student body can help.
This week, students will vote on a referendum to dramatically increase aid to the athletic department. Students currently pay $22 a semester toward athletics, but the fee will increase to $10 a semester hour up to 12 credit hours, meaning the majority of students will pay $120 a semester.
Coach Todd Berry has been lobbying students to approve the measure.