The state’s third-largest university has taken a first step to starting a football program. Kennesaw State officials now hope to build a fundraising framework that will support a team.
Wednesday’s announcement was the culmination of work by an exploratory committee to see if KSU could indeed take on a cost of several million dollars for football. The answer is yes, but with challenges.
Legendary University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley chaired the committee. He says there are two key ingredients.
“We’ve got to make sure of the student support...we’ve got to make sure of the community support which is absolutely essential to having football at Kennesaw State.” ...“I think that all of the challenges…I think realistically, can be met. I have no absolute assurance of that, but I am confident they can be met.”
KSU president Daniel Papp says a key component will have to include a special student fee:
“We’re pretty sure it’s going to be large, but it needs to be very large. Tough time to ask, but I think our kids are going to be looking at it, recognizing that football is going to enhance the value of their degrees.”
Papp says the fee probably would be in the range $85 to $100 per student per semester. That’s similar to Atlanta’s Georgia State University, which started playing football earlier this month. GSU adds $85 to each student's activity fee.
Papp says the Board of Regents must approve any student fee increase, and they've put a freeze on any such increases until the fiscal year 2013 budget.
Kennesaw State is Georgia’s third-largest school with over 23,000 students, with 3,100 living on its campus about 25 miles north of Atlanta in Cobb County.
It hopes to field a team in fall of 2014.