Athletics Programs Emerge

The Week of the Owl —- “That’s Fighting Owls, sounds more fierce,” said…

Georgia (Jul 17, 2009)The Week of the Owl —- “That’s Fighting Owls, sounds more fierce,” said Kennesaw State golf coach Blake Smart —- has them in quite a fever up in north Cobb.You had a KSU golfer going lower than Jerry Springer’s standards to earn a spot in this week’s U.S. Open. You had as many, if not more, Kennesaw State players taken in the first 50 picks of the Major League Baseball draft (two) as any of those fancy schools with bell towers and WalMart-sized weight rooms. What you had at Georgia’s third-largest university was an athletic program beginning to emerge from purgatory.As Kennesaw State has spent the last four seasons making the slow transition from Division II to Division I status, most of its programs have been prohibited from NCAA postseason competition. It’s a long haul to gain entrance to the penthouse of college sports, involving all kinds of bureaucratic busy work and one long proving period. In the meantime, while it was being vetted, KSU was neither D-II nor D-I. It was just De-ferred. Athletic Director Dave Waples likens the process to “someone clubbing you in the head with a baseball bat,” or “the world’s longest fraternity hazing.” Here, just at the hoped-for end of the transition —- the Owls should hear something final by August —- came a rush of individual success…..”A lot of people don’t know about us,” he said. Can’t you hear it now, in that New Yawk cadence: What is that on the bag, an owl? A Fighting Owl, to be more precise.


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit