By Justin A. Rice
Today’s announcement that Northeastern University is terminating its football program means that rumblings over the last two years that the school was going to renovate White Stadium in Franklin Park and play home games there is unlikely.
“I’m not saying it was just talk,” Boston Public Schools athletic director Ken Still said Monday of rumors that NEU would play at White. “[NEU] did a lot of investigating but what came out of it I wasn’t privy to. Engineers, the vice president, upper echelon people, they did check with us over a two-year period about what it would look like, what it would cost. That was on their plate.”
But Still said he was not disappointed about the news because he was not counting on Northeastern leaving its current home field, Parsons Field in Brookline, where Brookline High also plays.
“No, if that’s what comes about it comes about,” he said. “If not we’ll move on. I can’t settle all my eggs into one basket.”
Still, Still was among the folks whose jaw dropped this morning when they picked up their Globe to learn the news.
“Honestly the first I heard of it was when came to work today,” he said. “It’s very hard to give up on football, that’s the main course for most school’s existence.”
At a news conference on Monday, NEU athletic director Peter Roby said he was not comfortable spending the necessary money to improve the school’s facilities to put them on par with the rest of the Colonial Athletic Association.
“It’s not about what we’re currently doing,’’ he said. “It’s what we need to do to go forward. It’s going to require multiple millions of dollars on an ongoing basis for us to be successful.’
“It requires a lot of money to improve those things we need to improve to compete. Parsons Field is not appropriate for the level we are trying to play, and to continue to play without the appropriate amenities is not appropriate and I was not willing to recommend the kind of investment [we needed] to make that happen.’’