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Proposal for NCAA-Football at USA

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WHEREAS, the University of South Alabama has established itself as one of Alabama’s fastest growing universities, with enrollment increases in recent years vastly surpassing the average of its peer institutions, and

WHEREAS, USA students have reflected an ever-increasing interest in living on campus, being involved in campus life, and expanding the University’s extra-curricular and athletic offerings, and

WHEREAS, in recent years USA has made dramatic strides in student life through program and infrastructure improvements including new intramural fields, enhanced on-campus housing, expanded Greek housing, greater athletic offerings, and a new student recreation center soon to be constructed, and

WHEREAS, the elected representatives of the student body, the Student Government Association, have now overwhelmingly supported further enhancing student life through the creation of an NCAA-sanctioned intercollegiate football team, and
WHEREAS, the SGA and the student newspaper, The Vanguard, along with other student groups, have worked together to garner support from fellow students illustrated by more than 2,300 names on a petition expressing support for a football program and a willingness to invest in it through increased student fees, and
WHEREAS, the University has determined that a $150 per-semester fee increase would be required to support this initiative, with this fee being prorated for part-time students, effective fall 2008, and
WHEREAS, it has been determined that USA could make this fee adjustment and still remain at or below the average cost of its peer universities in the state, and
WHEREAS, a football program would provide the University a venue through which it could create a marching band program and other student life programs deemed desirable by current and potential students as an outlet for their interest and talents, as well as a public point of pride for their institution, and
WHEREAS, numerous members of USA’s alumni family throughout the years have expressed their support for such a program, citing football’s ability to unify and provide a catalyst for fellowship among alumni and a greater permanent connection to their university, and
WHEREAS, USA’s Faculty Senate has voted its support for such a program, as long as it adds value to the student experience and USA’s academic and financial integrity are preserved, and
WHEREAS, many university constituencies, including city and county leaders, have expressed their support of such an effort and have offered their assistance in facilitating it, anticipating football’s potential to further enrich area entertainment opportunities and provide an economic stimulus, and
WHEREAS, the Mobile area economy is currently experiencing a renaissance and the relationship between the community and the University has never been stronger as evidenced by increasing enrollment, as well as numerous cooperative educational, health care and economic development endeavors, and
WHEREAS, the University President has assembled a task force representing the major constituencies of the University, and this group has expressed optimism that while implementation of such a program presents challenges, it is both feasible and worthwhile, and
WHEREAS, the University is currently on the soundest economic footing in its history, and has addressed many of the deficits in its finances, infrastructure, health system and other areas since it opted not to pursue football after a comprehensive review of the subject beginning in 1999, and
WHEREAS, USA since 1999 has enhanced its capacity to generate private support through the successful implementation of a development program, illustrated by the success of its first comprehensive campaign, and
WHEREAS, football provides the University expanded marketing opportunities by appealing to students who desire intercollegiate football, band, and related programs, and
WHEREAS, the University administration believes that the combination of student fee support, community assistance, private giving, increased athletic revenue through ticket sales and other means, and other forms of revenue provide for the implementation of football at a reasonable net cost, without harm to USA’s academic or other athletic programs,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of the University of South Alabama hereby authorizes the University President to begin implementation of an NCAA-sanctioned football program at the University of South Alabama, with an objective to achieve Division I status as soon as practical, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the student fee increase described herein be implemented to support this initiative, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this be done as expeditiously as feasible so that the University and students can begin accruing the benefits of the football and band programs.

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