By David Gabler
Assistant Vice President for Communications
(Nov. 29, 2006)--UTSA officials today received a final report from a national consulting firm retained to determine the feasibility of eventually adding NCAA Division I football to the UTSA sports program.
Before taking a position, UTSA plans to spend the next several months reviewing the study with representatives of the university and the local community. The report does not make a final recommendation about adding football.
"The report is only the first step in gathering information concerning costs and infrastructure, but now it is time for us to meet with students, faculty, staff and the community before making a decision in the best interest of UTSA," said UTSA President Ricardo Romo. "For UTSA to consider adding football, this study makes it clear that doing so requires careful planning and an evaluation of available resources."
To add football, the feasibility study outlines infrastructure that must be in place, such as additional scholarships, staff and athletics facilities. Additionally, a number of NCAA legislative issues would have to be addressed and Title IX requirements fulfilled by the university to move from Division I-AAA to either I-AA or I-A.
Since neither tuition nor state appropriations can be used to support the athletics program, the feasibility study encourages the university to evaluate student interest in approving additional fees to support athletics. Not including start-up expenses, a Division I-A football program could cost up to $8 million per year to support.
Administrators also will meet with a number of constituent groups to evaluate external community support, both public and private, for expanded athletics programs -- particularly football.
Carr Sports Associates of Gainesville, Fla., prepared the feasibility study. UTSA coaches and athletics staff members worked with the firm to review existing athletics department operations and resources required to advance to higher levels of NCAA competition. The firm also interviewed community leaders, including members of the UTSA Development Board.
With 16 sports, UTSA recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of its athletics program, which is a member of the Southland Conference.
"We are making great strides in athletics at UTSA," said Athletic Director Lynn Hickey. "I want to thank the UTSA Athletics Council and the individuals and groups who funded this feasibility study. I believe all of us are looking forward to taking the next steps in developing a blueprint for the future of the Division I program at UTSA."
Read the complete report at the UTSA Athletics Feasibility Study Web site.