The  history Of 
Saint Bonaventure Basketball

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Loss Of The Football Program

In order to fully understand the history of St. Bonaventure basketball, one should know that the elimination of the budget for the football program aided the emergence of the basketball program greatly.  It is true that there is evidence of basketball at Bonaventure going back as far as 1896, with Father Joseph Butler building the first court, in a frame building used for handball but converted for basketball use.  Although there were many early forms of basketball here at St. Bonaventure, it was not until the football program was cut in 1952 that basketball really consolidated its position as the popular, and dominant, sport that it is today.       

Father Juvenal Lalor who was the president in 1952 announced that the board of trustees had voted to discontinue football as an intercollegiate sport.  The chief reason being that an average $50,000 had been spent annually for the previous six years to support the football program, and according to the board, this was out of proportion with the resources of the institution.

After a brief resuscitation in the late 1960's as a club team, football died again.  In the Bona Venture of Friday, October 23, 1970 there is a quote which sums up the reasons for the disappearance of this Saint Bonaventure football team.  Gene Kuberka says, "It is becoming apparent that unless attendance increases drastically for the next three home games, or the University comes through with financial assistance, football at St. Bonaventure will be dead again after the season.  And the already hurting social life here will take another big step backwards.  The average crowds for the last three home games this season was well under 500".

The following year the football team continued to play, but in May of 1971 the Bona Venture announced "There will be no club football team next season.  The University Administration's turned down all financial appeals for the football program". 

For a more complete review of the history of football at St. Bonaventure, please visit "A Short History of Saint Bonaventure Football "

Football link added 3/8/04 by D. Frank
Chronology corrected by D. Frank

Last updated:  10/23/08