Supporters Rally For B.U. Football

Boston, Mass. (U-WIRE)-- A group trying to get football back at Boston University sponsored a night of music, drinks and entertainment on Saturday in hopes of attracting devoted students and alumni to the cause.

More than 200 supporters turned out for the Boston Terriers United for Football's (BUTFF) inaugural fundraiser, held at The Big Easy in Boston's theater district.

"We want to provide alumni an opportunity to start believing in the organization," said BTUFF Chairman T.J. Hartford, a 1984 graduate. "Right now we just want to raise money and pick up grassroots support for the cause."

The event, which had an $30 cover charge, netted the group more than $10,000, Hartford said, adding that some people donated as much as $100 and $500.

Support for BTUFF continues to expand, and the organization has recruited more than 2,000 members in its first few months, Hartford said. Its goal is to attract at least 20,000 alumni, students and BU employees.


The organization was founded in October after BU decided to cut its 91-year-old football program.

Members threatened to withhold alumni contributions until the program was re-instated, but Christopher Reaske, BU's vice president of development and alumni relations, said he has not yet seen any substantial effects.

Reaske said early indications show that the university could lose about 200 donors because of the decision to cut football, but he added that others who made unrestricted donations could also stop giving.

"How significant that will be is not clear," he said. "When the alumni really understand us, I think they are going to come back to us if they have left us.

"The number of people who have asked for their money back who have made a gift to football and now left unhappy about it, I believe, is fewer than five people," he added.

Aside from trying to impact the university financially, BUTFF is also trying to round up student support. The Board of Directors is currently looking for students to serve on the executive committee.

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