Georgia College football to remain undefeated
Rumors of a GC football team have come and gone throughout the years. GC students have often wondered why Georgia College still doesn’t have a team. Many students seem to be in support of starting a team.
Director of Athletics Wendell Stanton argues that creating a football team is more expensive and complicated than most people realize.
“It’s going to take you to start it, and if you’re going to start it right, somewhere between $10 million and 15 million,” said Stanton. “And that’s actually a low number, I would say.”
This money includes building a fieldhouse for the team, which would cost about $7 million alone, hiring coaches and athletic trainers and building a stadium. GC would need multiple generous sponsors to even get the program started.
In addition, Stanton says it would cost $1 million each year to maintain the team. Student fees would increase by $90 to $150 to maintain the program, according to Stanton.
Many people believe that having a football program would bring in a lot of money and would eventually cover these costs. Stanton disagrees. He pointed out that even at the public TV level, only about two dozen teams bring in that much money.
Title IX would also add to costs since it plays a large role in the addition of sports programs. Title IX is a law that calls for equal representation of genders among college athletics.
If the college brings in 100 male athletes for the football team, the athletic department would have to either add multiple women’s programs or cut existing men’s programs to even out the number of female and male athletes represented at GC.
This would “[take] away opportunities from students who are already here,” according to Al Weston, assistant athletic director.
Adding multiple women’s programs would cost another couple million dollars, increasing the overall cost.
Even if GC could afford to build a football program, Weston is skeptical of how successful the program would be.
“I’m not personally convinced that the attendance would stay there,” Weston said. “There would be the newness element of it, and I think it would do well for a year or two, but then after that...UGA is playing right up the road, so there would be that competition there that we would have a hard time going against.”
Weston also pointed out that we might lose attendance to other bigger teams such as Georgia Tech or Georgia Southern.
Freshman Catherine James, a mass communications major, disagrees and believes the attendance would last.
Football is part of the student culture, James said, especially since many students’ high school football teams typically had large turnouts. “People come no matter what their relationship to the team is because they just love football,” said James. “[It] would really bring us together as a student body.” Freshman Makenah Mader, a mass communications major, thinks having a football team would add to GC’s atmosphere.
“I feel like Georgia College is so great during the week but during the weekends, starting Friday mornings, you kind of miss that hype,” said Mader. “I think it would be really great to have one because so many of the students would be so supportive of it.”
Weston encourages students to focus on attending current GC teams rather than hoping for a football team.
“[We’ve] got over 200 student athletes that achieve at a high academic and high athletic level,” said Weston. “Check out those sports and become of fan of those eleven varsity sports that we have.”