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.