SFUAD’s NCAA Football Club
On April 12, Jake Salinas posted an advertisement on the Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Student Life page letting students know legendary character actor Lemarcus Tinker would be making a special appearance at the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Football Club to play and talk about the game. That’s right: a Football Club on a campus where Quiddich and Volley Ball reign supreme.
The club is comprised of seven students who meet once a week to talk about football—most notably the 2006 NCAA Football video game. Salinas, their leader, founded the club back in [February] due to the significant lack of football in Santa Fe. Having grown up going to football games his entire life, Salinas felt a bit lost not having his favorite, long time sport to fall back on.
“There’s nothing to do Friday nights, there’s nothing to do Saturday afternoons,” Salinas says. Starting the club was a way to bring football back into his life.
The club is relaxed and casual. Nostalgic and pleasant, members are able to be in the company of their close friends and talk about their common interests pertaining to sports. Mostly they discuss the NCAA Football game, but they also discuss their favorite football teams and watch clips from ESPN and Youtube. When football season rolls around, they all watch football games together.
“When we’re all together talking about NCAA football and trash talking each other there’s this fun playfulness about it,” says NCAA Football Club member, Maya Ilarraza. “We all get along really well.”
Like Salinas, Ilarraza grew up around sports. As a high school athlete, being active was always a big part of her life and, after moving to Santa Fe it became hard to find people to talk to about her passion for football.
“It’s cool that we have a group of people we can talk to about this type of thing,” Ilarraza says. “Especially on this campus where sports aren’t a big thing, it’s nice to find people who have similar interests as you.”
Dylan Salewski, another member of the club from Colorado, was equally mystified by the lack of football in Santa Fe.
“It was really strange,” Salewski says.
Although the NCAA Football Club has only been around for a month or two, Salinas hopes to start as many NCAA Football clubs across the country in multiple universities. His goal is to revive the video game that was so dear to all the club members and figure out a way to get the NCAA to compensate the football players that were featured in the games. Even though Salinas will be transferring next semester due to personal reasons, he plans on starting a new chapter of the NCAA Football Club at his new school and has graciously allowed club member Thomas Magnuson to continue leading the SFUAD NCAA Football Club in his absence.
Magnuson, who is not a long time sports fan, also grew up on the NCAA Football video game and joined the club after attending only a few meetings.
“I heard about it from Jake,” Magnuson says. “From the beginning, I was very intrigued about what the club would entail, and ended up finding out it was my passion.”
Now Magnuson spends his time mentally preparing for how the next year is going to go. He wants to give the club more structure so it can be taken to the next level.
“We’re definitely going to make it a lot stricter and serious,” He says. “I want people to understand that it’s a serious club.”
This will involve being more on top of weekly events—such as making sure the club is held every week—and giving people the opportunity to interact in activities that go beyond simply hanging out. Magnuson and the other members of the club are hoping to start a campus football team so they can play against other universities.
“I’d definitely like to get a bigger group,” says Woodrow Hunt, another member of the club. “It’s 11 on 11 for one football game, so we’d need 22 people to play.”
“I think starting a SFUAD football team would be pretty cool,” Ilarraza agrees. “It could be totally low key, intramural, not even competing for anything, just playing the game for fun.”
Despite having a zero budget, Magnuson sees no reason to increase the club’s funds. He remains optimistic about a SFUAD football team in the future and believes there’s a chance this team could play against other schools in the NCAA.
“I’m really working towards a two-man team [just two people on the field at once],” Magnuson says. “If that’s not possible, we can try to up the numbers, but I’m trying to be realistic at the moment.”
SFUAD’s NCAA Football Club is open to anyone who likes football, sports, or enjoys the NCAA football video game. It is an open and accepting.
“I think that’s where the spirit of NCAA Football Club really comes from,” Magnuson says. “The zero budget, just friends coming together, talking about what we love.”
To get in touch with the NCAA Football Club, contact Thomas Magnuson at email@example.com.