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I lived in Birmingham for nearly 6 years in the late 90's and early 00's. I attended one UAB football game at Legion Field (which is not by any stretch of the imagination located "downtown"). Locals there seem to be 80% Alabama fans (Tuscaloosa is 45 minutes to an hour to the west/southwest), and 20% Auburn fans. The UAB fans are mainly the students. Sports talk radio is all about 'Bama 365 days a year; it's sports talk on steroids! Before I returned to Charlotte, there was a movement by the greater university trustees to stop football at UAB if it couldn't control expenses. UAB is a bad role model. Perhaps it's better now, but UAB sports will always be subordinate to Alabama sports in Birmingham.

A much better model is USF. Both were in Conference USA while I was there, but USF has moved on to the Big East and has experienced some notable success.

I think Chancellor DuBois, who has headed a school with football (Wyoming) will be dilligent in his planning. I think this chancellor knows the effect football can have on the school and the students, and I do admire the fact he is not jumping in wildly, but surely he or Judy Rose are having conversations (formal or informal) with potential conference homes for the Niners. DuBois is the best hope 49er football has ever had of becoming a reality.

Just keep in mind, even after the conception of a football program, the school will be at the FCS level for a minimum of 5 years, and any football played during that period will almost certainly be at Memorial Stadium. Scholarships and Div.1-A travel expenses are down the road quite a bit.

Local college football (with the proviso that there is indeed a timetable to move to Div. 1-A) has a much better chance of success in Charlotte than Birmingham. Regarding football, no Carolinas school has a strangle hold on the media and people's mindsets IN CHARLOTTE, as "Bama does in Birmingham.

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Tough loss on Friday. But an appearance in a bowl game so early on in the program’s history is a milestone in itself.

At least it’s not CHA

Official Watch Party: There are multiple unofficial watch parties as well including:  Belfast -Uptown Dilworth Neighborhood Grill - Dilworth Noda Brewing -Tryon Location Armoured

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In any case, let's be honest about what we mean when we say "increased their rep": what we really mean is "I've heard of these colleges because they're on Sportscenter". The catch is, no student worth recruiting makes college decisions based on Sportscenter.

They don't? Hmm. Perhaps not directly. However, before Boston College joined the ACC, Clemson get very few applicants from the New England area. Since BC joined, their New England applicants have soared because of the increased exposure to that area. People up there are now more aware of schools in the South because of sports. The connection is pretty obvious.

The UNC system is first of all a state school for state residents, and this concept that it must become a national school is not supported by its charter, purpose nor funding. Maybe its done that way in other states, namely places like SC whose university system was originally designed to keep out most of the population, but NC in comparison has had a long history of trying to make quality education available to all residents of the state.
Indeed the historical basis behind USC was to create a two tiered system of education in SC. The other tier was the state supported TEC system. When the state was operated and controlled by mill bosses the last thing they wanted was for people to become educated so they could move on to higher paying jobs. So there was one system for the "elite" of SC and another for everyone else. In any case it is about as relevant to this discussion as the highly noteworthy football team at USC. It's too bad the school is not as well regarded for it's academics which is often the case with these things. Though I am a native of SC and attended college there for a short while, I found that I could get a better education at UNCC in the NC system.

As a USC alumn, I feel obligated to correct many of these inaccuracies. I promise I will tie this back in to the UNCC football debate, so please bare with me.

The USC system is designed provide a higher education for the entire state. This is proven by the fact that it is he only "system" in the state, and has branches all over. They admit pretty much anyone who is remotely competent, much to the frustration of many alumni, I think. But it does give ALL South Carolinians a chance, which is more than I can say for some other universities in the state. This is quite frankly why Clemson is regarded higher by some, and to much frustration by those of us who have higher aspirations for our university. The only time when USC was only for the "elite" was back before the Civil War when the only people in ANY state who sent kids to college were the "elite." After the Civil War, the state had no money for anything, much less education, so all colleges suffered. USC has not been the "elite" university in the state in quite some time.

The "Tech" system in South Carolina is no different that the community college system in other states. Its as simple as that.

Now, with regards to football, USC was one of the many schools that pioneered football. It has a history, albeit not the most glamorous, of football since the 1890s. We grew up with football. So did UNC, NC State, etc. This is not a fair comparison to UNCC. I think that UNCC should compare its football desires to places like the University of South Florida, or other schools that have started up football programs recently. Schools with historic programs are a relevant comparison to the extent that they pay for football, but thats it. Maybe UNC Pembroke is a good example, assuming their football program is relatively new.

There seem to be a lot of UNCC alumni in this town (I meet them regularly), so it seems to me that there could be support for it. And if they win, the whole city would rally around their ONE successful football team.:)

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They don't? Hmm. Perhaps not directly. However, before Boston College joined the ACC, Clemson get very few applicants from the New England area. Since BC joined, their New England applicants have soared because of the increased exposure to that area. People up there are now more aware of schools in the South because of sports. The connection is pretty obvious.

1) By hiring one extra admissions counselor ($30k/yr), they could have achieved the same effect. Spending ~$200 million to achieve a bump in applications from a faraway region is... well, it's self-explanatory how bad an idea it is.

2) An increase in applications does not necessarily translate to an increase in enrollment. For example, take this article intended as a rah-rah piece about BC's apparent admissions benefits from joining the ACC. Buried in the article is this extremely relevant paragraph:

The spike in applications has not translated into significantly increased enrollment from students in the ACC states to the south. Overall, about 30 percent of accepted applicants enroll in Boston College, but among accepted students from ACC states that yield is 21 percent.

What is hidden behind these numbers, is that the sports-based bump in applications doesn't generate a stronger applicant pool -- it merely increases the gross number of applications. Among the accepted applications, the rate of enrollment is lower... which cancels out any benefits gained from the bump in "selectivity". So from an admissions standpoint, this is quite possibly the least efficient recruiting strategy possible -- unless we are talking about athletic recruits.

BTW, the paragraph cited above is taking stats from Boston College, a very prestigious historic private college in the Northeast with a famous football program. The effect would be noticeably magnified when applied to a 49ers football program which lacks those advantages.

3) Again, it simply doesn't matter what your sports teams do if you can't back them up with academic superiority. A student is not going to travel across the country and pay out-of-state rates unless the school itself offers something they can't get at home. Kids may find out about Chapel Hill or NC State through their athletic success, but they choose to attend those universities based on what they offer in their programs.

We could sit here all day and think of dozens of alternate uses for the hundreds of millions of dollars that it would take to get a football program running -- new graduate schools, a marked increase in the quality of undergrad education, major technology initiatives, famous faculty, improved residence options... the sky's the limit when you're talking about nine digits. Any combination of these would be objectively more beneficial to the University than a football team. That is a cold hard fact that cannot be dismissed. I don't doubt that the Trustees will be bandwagoned into voting for a football program, but that does not mean it won't be a major strategic mistake.

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As a USC alumn, I feel obligated to correct many of these inaccuracies. I promise I will tie this back in to the UNCC football debate, so please bare with me. .....
Of course this is the official stance of the system and you are referring to now, not the time period that I was referring to. There is a dark history behind the education system in SC that includes keeping Blacks and poor Whites out and the USC/Tech system was a part of that. If you don't know this I recommend you checkup on the history of that state. The UNC system also had the issue with Blacks but it was never setup as a two tiered system and it pretty much existed that way though the mid-1960s. And yes football was pioneered at southern schools. Southern "gentlemen" needed to feel relevant again in a South that was still pretty destitute after the civil war.

ACC Football at Clemson means there are now less slots for state residents to attend the school. They have never had a problem with applicants. I don't want to see the same thing happen to UNCC which currently gives priority to local and state residents.

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Whatever man :)

What is hidden behind these numbers, is that the sports-based bump in applications doesn't generate a stronger applicant pool -- it merely increases the gross number of applications. Among the accepted applications, the rate of enrollment is lower... which cancels out any benefits gained from the bump in "selectivity". So from an admissions standpoint, this is quite possibly the least efficient recruiting strategy possible -- unless we are talking about athletic recruits.

But isn't that the point? If the number of applicants has increased from a previously low applicant area, and the only reason is a new school in the conference... what other conclusions can you draw?

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But isn't that the point? If the number of applicants has increased from a previously low applicant area, and the only reason is a new school in the conference... what other conclusions can you draw?

Only if it has some kind of substantial effect on the enrollment. By the looks of things, the surge in application is mostly negated by the fact that relatively few "sports-based" applications actually end up enrolled in the university. Either they are weaker applicants and are rejected, or their interest in the institution is so superficial that they are accepted and then choose not to go. Of those who make it all the way through the process and eventually graduate, I'd be curious to know whether they are stronger than the local student whose place they took.

Currently there are 2,000 out-of-state undergrads at UNCC. Let's say that the football program is a staggering recruiting success and doubles that number, beyond all reasonable expectations. That means that each new student would have cost about $100,000 to recruit. As I said earlier, this strategy is almost comically cost-inefficient, even IF it is effective, which it probably will not be.

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  • 6 months later...

Hopefully, a "Yes" vote will be announced by the chancellor this morning.

With all of the negative economic news (especially this week) and the possible loss of the Wachovia HQ, this could be a shot in the arm. I think after the 5 year waiting period, real college football in Char/Meck will be a success (at least off the field) and another magnet for newcomers and a real ammenity to long-time residents. It would be a boon for University City on game days, and for restaurants and hotels around the area.

Anyway, I'm hopeful for a dose of positive news!

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Did anybody make it to the rally? I really wish I could have gone but they couldn't have chosen a worse day to host the rally. We had cold, wet weather on a night that classes were in session. I myself was still in class until right when the rally let out. I understand the timing to get it in before the Chancellor's address. However, it would have been better placed Sunday evening when fewer people would have been in class or working (college students and retail/restaurants in UC are strongly correlated around this area.)

Another interesting note, there was an outdoor boxing even on the front lawn of campus on Monday night. It was really cool to see a boxing ring lit up in front of campus. I hope that was a sign of more activities to come on campus this year. It drew a pretty large crowd.

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Did anybody make it to the rally? I really wish I could have gone but they couldn't have chosen a worse day to host the rally. We had cold, wet weather on a night that classes were in session. I myself was still in class until right when the rally let out. I understand the timing to get it in before the Chancellor's address. However, it would have been better placed Sunday evening when fewer people would have been in class or working (college students and retail/restaurants in UC are strongly correlated around this area.)

Another interesting note, there was an outdoor boxing even on the front lawn of campus on Monday night. It was really cool to see a boxing ring lit up in front of campus. I hope that was a sign of more activities to come on campus this year. It drew a pretty large crowd.

Boxing? Wow. Didn't know about this.. but that is certainly unique. Hopefully with what seems like an insane new load of people around as opposed to last year and higher gas prices more and more people won't leave every weekend.

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Dubois told the Trustees that he supports football by 2013 at today's meeting. However, he said he only supports it going forward if the school can raise $5M by selling 5,000 perm. seat licenses for $1,000 each over a 6 month period.

This would keep the school from having to raise student fees as much as previously speculated.

Sounds like a good plan to me. It makes boosters put their money where their mouth is. If they pay, they get a team.

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Dubois told the Trustees that he supports football by 2013 at today's meeting. However, he said he only supports it going forward if the school can raise $5M by selling 5,000 perm. seat licenses for $1,000 each over a 6 month period.

This would keep the school from having to raise student fees as much as previously speculated.

Sounds like a good plan to me. It makes boosters put their money where their mouth is. If they pay, they get a team.

I coudn't be happier about this. I hope everything else falls into place. It was reported on the news at 6pm that over 300 people had signed up to be the first to purchase a PSL in a little over 4 hours. That's not too bad for just a few hours...

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I coudn't be happier about this. I hope everything else falls into place. It was reported on the news at 6pm that over 300 people had signed up to be the first to purchase a PSL in a little over 4 hours. That's not too bad for just a few hours...

Damn, that's 300 people that beat me to it! I was going to pledge for either three or four

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I was happy with the decision and conclusion of this. It doesn't affect anyone against football for the time being and the University is continued to be supported for its other qualities and future EPIC and research centers, but it allows to see how much support ($$) is willing to go ahead with the plan. Sounds like a wonderful compromise and helps to even allocate funds. It so far seems there are a lot of willing bidders to buy seat licenses for $1000 dollars.

Link to the official release by Chancellor Dubois

Edited by Andyc545
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As of the end of last week, there were 823 PSL's at request, averaging a little more than 3 per person. The goal needed for Dubois' full support is 5,000 in 6 months. No money is taken until, and if, the Board of Trustees votes on its approval. After approval, the 5,000 PSL's will be given out which equates to $5 million towards the 45ish million dollar expandable stadium.

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As of the end of last week, there were 823 PSL's at request, averaging a little more than 3 per person. The goal needed for Dubois' full support is 5,000 in 6 months. No money is taken until, and if, the Board of Trustees votes on its approval. After approval, the 5,000 PSL's will be given out which equates to $5 million towards the 45ish million dollar expandable stadium.

According to WSOC the number of PSLs has reached over 1,500 by the end of the business day today.

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  • 1 month later...

Looks like the school is going to go forward with the football program (was it anyone surprise considering how many licenses have been purchased thus far?). I'm indifferent on the issue at this point, but it is interesting that they're attempting such an expensive venture in these tight financial atmosphere.

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/597/story/347975.html

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I wonder what conference they would play in? The A10 doesn't have football, so many of the A10 schools that do have football play in the Colonial League. That conference has an even 6 teams in each division, so they may not be willing to take in a new team. Geographically, the Southern conference and the Big South conference make a lot of sense. The Southern conference is old and very historic (many ACC and SEC team started out in the Southern conference) and their teams are major powers in the FCS, so they may not be willing to accept a brand new program. Than leaves the Big South, with teams like Charleston Southern, VMI, Gardner-Webb, and Liberty. Newcomers to FCS-level football Coastal Carolina and Presbyterian have joined the growing conference. This may be the best fit at first for the University of Charlotte football program.

Edited by InitialD
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For comparison Georgia State University, a comparable college to UNCC in Atlanta that has historically been a commuter college but in the past 10 years has been migrating to a traditional college, announced a new football program this year. They hired Bill Curry to start the program & will begin play in 2010 in the Colonial Conference, an FCS conference, that includes northeastern colleges & several Virginia colleges more known for basketball - like Villanova.

It would be cool if Charlotte & GSU played each other, as well as other urban colleges like Richmond. Perhaps even the Colonial Conference would be interested in Charlotte, it's a conference that attracts large colleges that are just developing football programs who are in traditional basketball conferences.

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Well the team is going to start out in the FCS (1-AA level,) so I would bet my cards that they will be in the Southern Conference, along with Appalachian and Western Carolina. But the Pioneer league would fit Charlotte pretty well with Davidson being in the division along with fellow A10 basketball member Dayton. The same can be said for Colonial which is home to three A10 basketball schools.

Edited by aussie luke
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The most interesting statistic I found was that of the 4,000 seat commitments, 70% come from people who have never given a donation to the school before.
That's one of the reasons given for getting the program going. UNC Charlotte has a dismal record of alumni support. This is seen as a way to get alumni back on campus after they graduate and attempt to get them to open their wallet to their alma mater a little more often.

As I understand it, there are currently 70,000 graduates of UNC Charlotte living in the metro area. Of the 10 or so that I know, none have ventured back onto the campus since they graduated in the 1980s.

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Well the team is going to start out in the FCS (1-AA level,) so I would bet my cards that they will be in the Southern Conference, along with Appalachian and Western Carolina. But the Pioneer league would fit Charlotte pretty well with Davidson being in the division along with fellow A10 basketball member Dayton. The same can be said for Colonial which is home to three A10 basketball schools.

I very highly doubt the SoCon will take UNCC. They have 12 teams, which is the ideal size for a conference. They also wouldn't want to be used as a stepping stone to get into a Division 1-A conference, which is ultimately going to be UNCC's goal.

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