Six years after Kennesaw State University began its quest to launch a football program, school leaders this afternoon will formally announce plans to kick off its inaugural season in 2015.
Legendary University of Georgia football coach Vince Dooley will join university president Daniel S. Papp and athletic director Vaughn Williams at today's briefing, which is scheduled for 4 p.m. today at the KSU Convocation Center, 1000 Chastain Rd.
And the first 750 students at today's press conference will receive a free T-shirt, according to the school's Twitter feed.
Dooley was the leader of the exploratory committee that worked to bring football to the state's third-largest university.
When the team begins play in 2015, they will be part of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly Division I-AA. What isn't known is which conference Kennesaw State will join. Kennesaw State currently belongs to the Atlantic Sun Conference, which does not sponsor football.
In a list of frequently asked questions on the university's athletics website, officials said "it is too early to speculate which conference" Kennesaw State will join.
The university has more pressing matters. Officials will have to search for a head coach, hold educational town hall meetings, begin selling tickets, renovate the 8,300-seat KSU Stadium, refurbish offices for coaching staff and develop a marching band, according to the FAQ.
Kennesaw State estimates that it will cost between between $4.5 million and $5.5 million a year to field a football team. That includes operating expenses such as scholarships for student-athletes, coaches’ salaries, equipment, game-day operations, marching band, fielding new sports to achieve Title IX compliance and more.
Funding will come from donations, sponsorships, ticket sales, student fees, and guarantee games, the school said.
Today's announcement comes one day after the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved Kennesaw State’s request to increase athletic fees from $152 to $252 per semester to start a football program and Title IX women’s athletic programs. The fee increase, which allows the school to begin a search for a head football coach, will be effective fall semester 2013.
Return to Kennesaw Patch for updates after the press conference.