Once upon a time, Arkansas-Little Rock had its own football program — and it was pretty darn good. Then known as Little Rock Junior College, the Trojans appeared in the Little Sugar Bowl in 1948, won a national championship in 1949 and claimed the Missouri Valley Conference crown in 1954.
The program was disbanded a year after that.
Earlier this year, though, around 1,000 UALR students signed a petition to revive the program, and the school will now conduct a joint study with the city of Little Rock and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to conduct a feasibility study.
“Since that time, I’ve heard from many other students, alumni, community members, and business leaders who have expressed their interest in a Division I football program in greater Little Rock,” UALR chancellor Andrew Rogerson said in a statement. “As a scientist, I have a high regard for data, so conducting an objective study seems like the right approach to determine if a football program and marching band would be a wise and meaningful addition to the university and our community.”
The study is expected to take six-to-seven months to complete. After that, the athletics department will reach out to key university and community stakeholders.
If revived, the Trojans would play in the recently renovated War Memorial Stadium. UALR competes in the Sun Belt for its Olympic sports, and figures to join FCS if the program is reinstated.
Six universities will add programs in 2017-18, bringing the national total to a record-high 774.