Are you ready for some Buccaneer football?
After a near 10-year absence from the gridiron, ETSU administrators have the means to start a new football program now that a $125 per student athletic fee was approved at the quarterly meeting of the Tennessee Board of Regents Friday. TBR governs ETSU.
This fee is necessary to start a football program because it would generate about $2.5 million this next academic year for the program. Each year after that, the fee would provide about $2.8 million to support football.
An estimate for expenses for a football team would be just under $4.9 million per year by 2018-19, according to a pro forma ETSU released earlier this month. Expenses not covered by the proposed fee would be covered by NCAA scholarship fee distributions, game guarantees, marketing/promotions contracts, radio contracts, concessions, merchandise and fundraising.
ETSU fielded a football team until the end of the 2003 season. The football program was canceled due to financial reasons. A referendum was put before the student body in 2007 to resurrect football, but was defeated. After Noland became president in November 2011, renewed interest grew in starting football. A recommendation was made in December by a task force charged with studying athletics to look at establishing a football program.
Keep checking JohnsonCityPress.com and Saturday's print edition for more information on this story.