Excerpted from “Greg Hansen: ‘Mr. Football'” in the Montrose Press
A: From 1920 to 1964, Arizona took the train to football games in El Paso. Then the Wildcats flew to UTEP until the regular home-and-home series ended in 1977. This time, the Wildcats took a bus. (They’ll fly home in the wee hours Saturday morning.)
You may think it’s a cost containment issue, but there is no dedicated cost containment in college football. Not in the Power 5 conferences, or at Arizona, a school that has five full-time “analysts” on Rich Rodriguez’s staff.
It can cost as much as $300,000 to charter a jet for a long football trip, and probably close to $175,000 to go to and from El Paso. The Wildcats stopped in the middle of nowhere — Lordsburg, New Mexico — for lunch Thursday. If you’ve ever stopped in Lordsburg, you know there is no place that can hustle up lunch for a traveling party of close to 150 people.
So the UA hired a Tucson firm, Sutter’s Catering, to meet them in Lordsburg for lunch.
The UA doesn’t spend money excessively on sports travel; last week, Arizona’s nationally ranked women’s golf team drove to a tournament in Albuquerque, as will the UA men’s golf team for an invitational in Albuquerque next week. Last April, Mike Candrea’s softball team took a bus to Las Cruces — 46 miles from El Paso — rather than fly.
Besides, by the time a football team goes to the airport, clears security, loads the plane and flies to El Paso, it would take about three or four hours. In that time, a bus from Tucson is almost to the Rio Grande.
Read the entire column at MontrosePress.com.