Thursday, February 14, 2013

Board of Regents approves football program at Kennesaw State

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Student fees to increase by $100 to fund program
  • CL File
  • Student fees to increase by $100 to fund program
Kennesaw State scored a touchdown yesterday, receiving approval from the Board of Regents to launch a football team and other Title IX programs. School officials hope that the program will launch somewhere between 2014 and 2015.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the board that oversees higher education in Georgia unanimously voted in favor of a $100 increase in student fees per semester to $252 yesterday morning. The change will take effect this fall.

The higher fees could generate as much as $4.8 million in its first year, the AJC reported. An unnamed sponsor, whose identity will be revealed Thursday, has also committed to giving $5 million over a 10-year period.

These financial sources - combined with letters of intent for suite rental payments and support from the Kennesaw State University Foundation - would bring the university's overall revenues from $5.7 million in 2014 to $8 million by 2018.

The board's vote yesterday marked the culmination of a five-year process that involved studies, fundraising, and student feedback, according to a KSU press release that was posted early yesterday.

"We had a very, very orderly set of things that we had to do," Papp said, according to the AJC. "As we passed each milestone we moved on to the next one. This is the final milestone. We are very excited by this."

In September 2010, a 32-member exploratory committee led by former UGA coach Vince Dooley recommended a football team's addition to school officials. Two months later, 55.5 percent of nearly 7,400 Kennesaw students who participated in a survey voted in favor of a fee increase that would bring football to campus.

The process had some road bumps. According to the AJC, the Regents didn't add KSU to its meeting agenda this past December. Last month, a subcommittee deferred making a decision and asked the school for more information.

The school can start looking for a head coach, staff, and conference as soon as it wishes, the Kennesaw Patch reported. The expected timeline for that process will also be revealed today at a 4 p.m. press conference at the KSU Convocation Center.

In addition, football games will take place at the KSU stadium, which seats more than 8,000 attendees. The AJC reported that KSU is considering renovations to some stadium suites.

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