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ga. state clears hurdle for football program


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ga. state clears hurdle for football program

new student fee will help finance proposed team

by stan awtrey

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 10/19/07

the dream of a georgia state football program took a big step toward reality friday when a committee of administrators and students unanimously approved an increase in the student-activity fee.

the mandatory student fee committee agreed to an $85 per semester increase to support football, new women's sports required by title xi and a marching band.

that leaves only gsu president carl patton to approve the plan and make a recommendation to the board of regents, which he is expected to do early in 2008. it is thought to be unlikely that such a proposal would be vetoed by the regents.

"for many years the georgia state student body has been extremely positive in voicing its desire for the university to field a football team," patton said in a statement released by the school. "i'm delighted that the students have supported the increase."

the start-up date for the program would be no earlier than 2010, which would give the administration time to hire a staff and recruit its first class of athletes. the panthers would remain in the colonial athletic association and become its eighth school to play football at the division i-aa level.

"it's overwhelming how enthusiastic people are," georgia state athletics director mary mcelroy said last week.

the new funds are expected to provide an additional $5 million to the project. that, along with the $1.14 million already pledged by alumni and supporters, will give the program enough momentum to begin looking for a downtown practice facility and a coaching staff. the panthers would play their games at the georgia dome.

georgia state has been studying schools with similar demographics which have started football, among them alabama-birmingham and south florida.

"we've heard from the beginning, 'how are you going to compete with all that tradition,'" mcelroy said. "south florida has done it. appalachian state did it. i'm not saying it's parity, but on any given saturday night . . . "

the push for football gained much of its credibility last spring when former atlanta falcons coach dan reeves was brought in as a consultant.

"i think that helped convey the message that we were serious about it," mcelroy said.

reeves, who has taken two teams to the nfl's super bowl, has neither expressed nor denied interest in coaching georgia state.

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this is excellent news. about time a for a new team in georgia and particularly metro atlanta that will eventually challenge uga and gatech. i really believe that can happen about 10 years down the line.

not sure if 10 years is realistic or not...if it happens, they'll be a d div. 1 aa team...and it's doubtful that they'll be a competitive team in their own division for the first 4 or 5 seasons...but i think within 10 years, they could definitely be a force within div 1aa football, and maybe they can put together some championship seasons so that the state can hang national championship banners at both ends of the state for div 1aa... smile.gif

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this is excellent news. about time a for a new team in georgia and particularly metro atlanta that will eventually challenge uga and gatech. i really believe that can happen about 10 years down the line.

not sure if 10 years is realistic or not...if it happens, they'll be a d div. 1 aa team...and it's doubtful that they'll be a competitive team in their own division for the first 4 or 5 seasons...but i think within 10 years, they could definitely be a force within div 1aa football, and maybe they can put together some championship seasons so that the state can hang national championship banners at both ends of the state for div 1aa... smile.gif

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this is excellent news. about time a for a new team in georgia and particularly metro atlanta that will eventually challenge uga and gatech. i really believe that can happen about 10 years down the line.

laugh.giflaugh.gif you guys don't even have a program and you are talking about challenging uga and gatech..

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this is excellent news. about time a for a new team in georgia and particularly metro atlanta that will eventually challenge uga and gatech. i really believe that can happen about 10 years down the line.

laugh.giflaugh.gif you guys don't even have a program and you are talking about challenging uga and gatech..

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