Kennesaw State’s football program push given stiff-arm by State Regents
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
January 09, 2013 01:14 AM | 9652 views | 21 21 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kennesaw State University President Dr. Dan Papp (MDJ Staff/Laura Moon)
Kennesaw State University President Dr. Dan Papp (MDJ Staff/Laura Moon)
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ATLANTA — Just when Kennesaw State University was poised to kick off its football program, Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia let the air out of the ball.

KSU was on Tuesday’s agenda and expecting to get final approval for a $100 student fee increase to aid start-up costs of the football program and additional women’s athletics programs needed to meet Title IX requirements. The board’s finance and business operations committee, however, chose to postpone the vote, and Chancellor Hank Huckaby set up a task force to research how to better consider fee increase proposals because of the volume the board has received for the 2014 fiscal budget.

Now, Kennesaw State officials may have to wait up to three more months — or longer — before getting the necessary final approval for football, and it may put hopes of kicking off in the fall 2015 in jeopardy.

University President Dan Papp said Tuesday that Kennesaw State has everything ready to move forward when given the opportunity, and he added that the university will work with the board in whatever way is necessary.

Papp declined to answer questions about how Tuesday’s delay will affect the football program going forward.

Kennesaw State athletic director Vaughn Williams did not respond to calls or emails seeking further comment.

Once Kennesaw State appeared on the agenda for the Board of Regents’ monthly meeting, it was considered to be a formality that the university’s request for the fee increase would be approved. KSU officials even went as far as to schedule a news conference to announce the football team plans, and to possibly reveal a large financial contributor to the program.

That press conference, which was set for today inside the KSU Convocation Center, was cancelled.

Until the university gets final approval, it cannot begin the fee increase, which would raise students’ athletic fee to $252 per semester, and help raise the $3.5 million per year the university projects officials say it will take to fund football.

Another problem KSU could face as a result of the Board of Regents’ decision is the inability to hire a head coach and coaching staff. Originally, it was reported that the university would try to hire a coach prior to National Signing Day on Feb. 6, but with the delay, many coaches who might have been interested in the job, may look elsewhere by the time KSU get the go-ahead.

Huckaby addressed the reason for the delay, and the concern over the number of proposals for student fee increases the university system received for the 2014 fiscal year. Of the 40 proposals for increases that were received, 16 were related to athletics. It appears that the university system will begin to look at standardizing those fees for Georgia’s institutions of higher education.

“We do not have any clear-cut policies, procedures or guidelines for what the process should be at institutions for intercollegiate (athletics) areas,” Huckaby said during his report to the Board of Regents. “So, I’ve asked Dr. Houston Davis (the university system’s new chief academic officer and executive vice chancellor) to begin working with other staff and analyze — do some research — on what is being done across the country.

“The board feels very strongly about this, and we do as a staff, that we need to chart out how we are going to move forward in the future with the expansion and increase in athletics.”

Huckaby added that the task force will brief the Board of Regents on a projected plan by February and then offer a proposal that can be addressed in a formal matter by the next meeting in March.
Comments
(21)
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PlaySoccer
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January 10, 2013
If the student fees were going to cover the $3.5 million a year to run the program, why did they need to reveal a large financial contributor at the planned news conference? Where is that money going.....greasing a few hands?

How about eliminating the student fee and just using the contributor!

As far as voting on a student fee increase.......don't start the fee increase until the team is actually playing. Why should a student pay a fee in 2013 when the team won't even take the field until after they've graduated?

The stadium was built with football locker rooms, according to the grand opening ceremony.

Anyone who has ever attended a sporting event as KSU, knows the student attendance is horrible. A few years back, they even made all games free for students as an effort to increase attendance. The school needs to take a good look at that before adding an outrageously expensive sport like football.

Heisman
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January 09, 2013
You can be sure that corrupt Earl Easy Earhardt will add be sure to have the Regents add football. It benefits him
ITK
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January 09, 2013
To clear up any confusion, the football survey WAS sent out to the general student population. And it passed with a majority - not an overwhelming majority, but a majority nonetheless.

Also, the current athletic fee is $144, which does not include anything for football. The extra $100 is specifically a "football fee".

The BOR has done A LOT regarding the GPC fiasco. There's a budget issues committee in place to look at policies and make sure something like this never happens again. Plus they are monitoring all the schools to see what kind of policies they have in place.

KSU has some of the lowest fees in the entire USG, so really students should not be complaining because they have it GOOD. In addition, KSU receives the LOWEST amount of state funding as a % of the size of the school. Some tiny hardly-known schools get more funding than KSU does.

You people have to accept that KSU is NOT a commuter adult school anymore. It is growing on the national and international level.
ProJour
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January 10, 2013
A large number of Cobb Countians live in the past, and change of any kind is not part of their vocabulary.
30066
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January 09, 2013
With 12 comments in so far... no one has mentioned the Elephant in the room.... Title IX.

No one seems to question that a revenue and student cohesion sport is put on a par with Field hockey... which produces no revenue and is of interest to few beyond the participants. It is a hidden tax... plain and simple.

We must get over this madness and treat Revenue Sports (mainly football, due to its typically 50 - participants) different to what amounts to "Premium" Intra-mural sports. I say this because essentially they are intra-mural sports played against other schools but with no more interest than most intra-mural sports generate.

Look out for the PC replies!
Bigger Issues
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January 09, 2013
The Board of Regents continues to be reactive instead of proactive. It appears that KSU was given no indication that there would be an issue until they arrived at the meeting on Tuesday.

Will the BOR ever have to answer for the financial fiasco at Georgia Perimeter? Where was the oversight?

No matter what you think of football at KSU, one has to be concerned with the lack of leadership and professionalism at the Board of Regents.
RKennesaw
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January 09, 2013
No more non-academic fees for non-academic programs. What a WASTE of time and money and on the backs of students.
UTVol59
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January 09, 2013
Pretty sad when KSU, the 3rd largest university in the state cannot have football, yet Rheinhart, Berry, Mercer, LaGrange, West GA etc..all have or are beginning football programs.
Student Focused
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January 09, 2013
I'm glad someone appears to be looking out for the students already paying over $2,000 in tuition and fees - and struggling with those.

This nature of "I want something so let's slap another fee on students for something many of them won't use" needs to stop. Perhaps Papp would benefit from focusing on what's best for his students and not the football program he is so obsessed with.
Blue 17, Blue 17....
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January 21, 2013
Sorry Focused, Football runs the south, like it or not, it just does. There are plenty of states up north to live, if you choose to stay down here, you either have to just except it or live a miserable life complaining about it.

....set, Hut Hut
OwlsVoted
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January 09, 2013
Don't forget: KSU students voted in 2010 to impose this fee upon themselves, specifically for development of the football program. As much as the helicopter parents don't want to let them go, these are young adults who can choose where they go to school. Don't want to pay the fee? Transfer.

The high tuition and fees have much more to do with KSU's rapid capital expansion over the past decade. Those buildings and parking decks aren't free.
Not all Owls voted
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January 09, 2013
There was a select number of students that voted. It was never put to the general population. As a night commuter student who works full time, I have no interest in football or paying for athletics that I have no time to pursue. Let the ones who voted for it pay for it if it's that important. Of course that soccer field that was built for the now-defunct Atlanta Beat has to be paid for someway. And let no one forget, Papp said it was not a football stadium, it was a soccer stadium and yet now they're are saying it was built to be converted. Hmmmm, maybe if there weren't so many contradicting stories, people would be more apt to believe.
anonymous
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January 09, 2013
It was my understanding that the $100 fee was already imposed and they were paying for it now, to raise money for football. I believe this is an additional $100 on top of the first fee increase. That is a big difference in the argument
Nofeesplease
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January 09, 2013
The students already pay $152/semester in athletic fees. Didn't that go up when they voted for football a couple years ago?
B. Rogers
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January 09, 2013
Years ago I had a football scholarship and loved football. However, to put the burden of cost on the backs of the student body is not right ever, especially now.

So I say kill the idea now.
Justaddspam
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January 09, 2013
The students voted on the $100 dollar fee. KSU is already a good deal and a good football program will only increase the quality and worth of the school. Again, the student body voted and approved the $100 dollar increase.
common sense
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January 09, 2013
I hope the BOR will use common sense and act on it. In this economic environment it's incredibly foolish to be adding an additional fee onto the already very high fees KSU students have to pay. How many students are we willing to push out of school because they can't afford the every growing fees. It's also foolish to begin a football program that everyone knows will be a drain on finances at such a time. Much larger schools with longer standing football teams are either struggling to maintain them or stopping them altogether.
Harry333
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January 09, 2013
The fee was voted on by the students. KSU is still an incredibly good deal for school.
mcph1827
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January 09, 2013
I enjoy watching college football, but that being said... there are a lot of people struggling right now to get a higher education and adding more cost to every student to have a football team seems unresponsible in my opinion. The desires of a few should not be funded on the backs of the taxpayers and every student.
No More Fees
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January 09, 2013
Oh my. A delay on football? Vaughn is going to need his security blanket. Let's worry more about getting kids out in 4 years than who wins Saturday's game
ECP
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January 09, 2013
The proper decision was made. It is hard enough for students to pay for books, as well as ridiculous fees for things they don't use. An extra 100.00 is way too much to ask. Sure, the school gets the money back in the form of athletic revenue, but not everyone benefits from something that everyone has to pay for. It makes no sense for students to have to pay any athletic fee. Most do not even use the athletic facilities, and it's not as if revenue from athletics decreases tuition.
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