After months of speculation, Daniel Papp, Vince Dooley and Nancy King announced that Kennesaw State University hopes to soon have a football team. The football exploratory committee, headed by legendary football coach Vince Dooley, gave the green light for the university to move forward.
The results of the study show that there is solid support for a successful football program. The team could start as early as the fall of 2014. The entire press release is below:
Kennesaw State University Football Exploratory Committee Says “Yes!”
Committee headed by legendary football coach Vince Dooley gives green light for university to move forward
KENNESAW, Ga. (Sept. 15,2010) – Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp accepted a highly positive recommendation from legendary football coach Vince Dooley, chair of KSU’s Football Exploratory Committee (FEC), to move forward with the university’s interest in fielding a football program.
The results of the nine-month study indicate there is solid support for a successful football program at Georgia’s third-largest university, according to the 137-page report, which Coach Dooley submitted to Papp along with a five-page Summary and Recommendations document.
The Committee’s positive recommendation was announced for the first time at a press conference held today at the KSU convocation Center. “This is a truly historic day for Kennesaw State University,” Papp said, upon accepting the document from the iconic football coach. “This is an important first step in assessing support for a football program at KSU, and we all look forward to building on this positive feedback and strong momentum that exists.
“Now that we have the Committee’s report, it’s very important for us to once again re-evaluate the level of student support,” Papp continued. “This has been a continuing conversation; and to that end, our next step is to talk with our student leaders and to the student body to ascertain their continued interest in having a football program at KS U.”
Dooley, who retired as the University of Georgia’s athletics director in 2004 after 25 years, was UGA’s head football coach from 1964 to 1988. He led of one of the most successful football and all-sports programs in intercollegiate athletics. He expressed appreciation for serving on the Committee and working collaboratively with all 32 members.
“It has been an honor to oversee the hard work and enthusiasm of the four subcommittees. They did a very thorough job,” Dooley said. “We tackled some tough issues over the past several months to come up with the Committee’s recommendation, which I’m particularly glad to say represents the overwhelmingly positive opinion that the University should move forward towards building a football program.”
The positive decision by the committee came after months of intensive study by four subcommittees composed of faculty, staff, students, alumni, benefactors and community members.
Papp charged the study committee with weighing the projected costs of establishing a football program, the funding possibilities, the broader consequences and implications of a football program, and positive alternatives.
The four subcommittee chairs and the subcommittees that they headed included: Teddie Parrish (Projected Costs), Rick Siegel (Funding Possibilities), Dr. Nancy King (Broader Consequences), and Dr. Tom Keene (Positive Alternatives).
Papp acknowledged the hard work that Dooley and the entire Committee put into the study project, starting last December.
“To use a football metaphor, I am so grateful to Coach Dooley and the other 32 members of the Football Exploratory Committee for taking the ball and running with it,” said Papp.
Based on the FEC report, KSU student fees and additional funds from sponsors, donors and ticket sales would be necessary to fund the estimated $5-6 million cost of the program. If feedback from the student body is equally supportive as the FEC report, and the university decides to launch a program, KSU -which completed its transition into NCAA Division I last year –could have a football program as early as Fall 2014.
With some adjustments, a Kennesaw State University football team could play in the state-of the-art, $16.5 million KSU Soccer Stadium that was just completed in early May of this year.
Papp stressed that there are challenges ahead. “Starting a football program from scratch will not be easy, but then again nothing truly worthwhile is ever easy,” he said. “As Coach Dooley often reminded his players, there are four quarters to every football game. And the score that counts is the one at the end of the fourth quarter. We have a long way to go toward achieving victory, but with today’s announcement, we are one step closer to having football at KSU!”
Papp also reiterated that even if KSU launches football, quality academics will remain the university’s focus. “A football program could serve that mission well, as it may help bring increased national recognition to our institution and highlight the important work that is being done here in teaching and research,” Papp said.
About Kennesaw State University:
Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 22,300 students from 142 countries.