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Friday, March 15, 2013 - 11:30am

Regents Increase Athletics Oversight

The University System of Georgia is taking control of athletic funding under a new policy approved this week.

The new directive requires the Board of Regents to sign off on any new athletic program, including changes in division and student fees.

The policy comes in light of financial and budget issues at the state's 31 public colleges and universities.

"The main thing was some of the athletic programs involve student fees and the regents have to approve all student fee requests. Whether they are new fees or an increase in existing fees," says Regents spokesman John Millsaps. "And the regents take that area of their work very seriously."

Millsaps says the move wasn't a result of any particular school issue.

"There was an absence of any sort of process or framework around athletics and the board felt that was probably something that needed to be addressed," says Millsaps.

Georgia Southern University recently approved $100 per semester in fee hikes to expand its football stadium and move to a higher athletic division.

Kennesaw State University also raised their fees to start their football program.

The Board of Regents approved both fee hikes.

The new rule also requires all athletic funds to come under the direct authority of the campus presidents.