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KSU seeks Board of Regents approval for football

11:41 AM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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KENNESAW, Ga. -- The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia will consider Kennesaw State University President Dr. Daniel S. Papp's request to launch a football program and additional Title IX women's sports at the university at the board's Tuesday meeting.

The BOR's consideration will be the final step in a six-year process of studies, student voting, and fundraising aimed at exploring the possibility of bringing NCAA Division I football to the state's third-largest university.

President Papp and KSU's Director of Athletics Vaughn Williams will conduct a briefing on the Regents' decision on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The event will be held at noon, in the Convocation Center on the Kennesaw State University campus.

The possibility of bringing football to Kennesaw State has been the subject of a detailed process that began in March 2006, when the KSU Foundation contracted with Turner & Associates to conduct a feasibility study about the future of Kennesaw State's athletics program. Among the study's findings was a determination that adding football would "significantly enhance KSU's prestige, visibility, and fund-raising potential."

Papp broached the possibility of adding football to KSU's athletic program to the Board of Regents in September 2008 and in August 2009 when he made presentations to the Board that culminated in the development of the 88-acre KSU Sports and Recreation Park - which includes an 8,300-seat stadium built primarily for women's soccer.

In December 2009, Papp appointed a 33-member Football Exploratory Committee, chaired by legendary former University of Georgia football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley, to study the pros and cons of establishing a football program at KSU. The committee announced its findings in September 2010, concluding that there was solid support for a collegiate football program at Kennesaw State, but that external funding sources were requisite.

Following the release of the exploratory committee's report, KSU's Student Government Association (SGA) and the Office of the Vice President for Student Success in November 2010 conducted an SGA-led vote to assess the level of student support for a fee of $100 per student per semester to initiate a football program and additional Title IX women's sports at KSU. The students voted to support that fee request. Fund-raising efforts began soon thereafter. In October 2012, as fund-raising efforts progressed, the KSU Student Fee Committee then voted to support the fee increase, allowing Papp to move forward with a formal request to the Board of Regents.

"We are grateful that the Board of Regents will consider our request to add football and additional Title IX women's sports," Papp said. "Many of KSU's students, friends, and supporters are enthusiastic about the possibility of adding football and more women's intercollegiate sports at the university. We appreciate everyone who has encouraged us, and we eagerly look forward to the board's decision. Whatever the Board decides, it will have a tremendous impact on the future of KSU's intercollegiate athletics program and the future of this university."

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