The task force that has been envisioning the future of East Tennessee State athletics is coming into the stretch run.
The 15-member panel met for the fourth time on campus Thursday evening, and chairman Ken Bailey said there will probably be just two more meetings before its work is through. The task force is part of the Committee for 125 that is examining how the university might be shaped over the next quarter-century.
A report will be submitted to ETSU president Brian Noland in early December.
“We’re now in the process of reviewing the what-ifs and possibilities,” said Bailey, a Greeneville judge. “We’re narrowing those down to more specific priority recommendations to make to the Committee for 125 and Dr. Noland. So far there’s been a lot of interesting and exciting work done.
“I think the folks on our committees, because they represent different parts of the community, have brought a very good cross-section of ideas.”
The task force has been broken down into subcommittees looking at four general areas – competition and branding; finances; facilities; and engagement of students, faculty and the community. Bailey said the final report will “probably include five or six recommendations in each of those categories.”
The group has been challenged by Noland to “dream big” on possible directions university athletics might take, including the return of football, but not to address specifically how its recommendations would be implemented.
There’s a link on the ETSU website (www.etsu.edu/125) where recent updates are available, and comments may be offered by any interested parties.
“We’ve been getting a lot of feedback from folks,” said Bailey. “I’ve probably gotten 10 to 12 myself, and they’ve been constructive comments. I would encourage anyone with some thoughts to offer to go on that website.”