Kennesaw State looks at adding football program

By Jeff Haws Yielding to a voice of experience, Kennesaw State University has turned to former…

Georgia (Dec 10, 2009) —  


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Yielding to a voice of experience, Kennesaw State University has turned to former University of Georgia football coach and athletics director Vince Dooley to lead the school's assessment for fielding a football program.

Kennesaw president Daniel Papp said Thursday the school had formed an exploratory committee that will conduct a nine-month survey to examine issues such as funding, fan and community support, suitability of facilities and a football program's potential impact on other KSU sports.

The committee is expected to issue a report in September gauging whether football is feasible at this time.

Papp said this is the first step in answering the question that KSU people have been asking for several years.

"When I became president of KSU [in 2006], about the first question I got hit with was, ‘When are you going to do football?' " Papp said. "I know [former KSU] president [Betty] Siegel, who was here for 25 years, frequently was asked, ‘When are you going to do football?' We have to get an answer to a whole list of questions and others. Coach Dooley and others, they've got a large path in front of them."

Dooley, 77, will head the 33-person committee as chairman and consultant, lending expertise from 40 years as coach and AD at Georgia, where he retired in 2004.

He said his role, in part, will be to gauge how popular the idea of KSU football is in the area.

"I'll go out and talk to a lot of people in the community … to get a feel for how much support there is for this venture," Dooley said. "And I'll learn how to start a program, which I've never done. So that's exciting."

He'll also bring name recognition and credibility to the process.

"Let me underline the knowledge multiple, multiple, multiple times," Papp said. "We've got a wonderful committee. We've got folks who have expertise on that committee from a variety of areas. But the expertise that coach Dooley has, that's what we need."

Papp said the earliest the school could begin playing football is 2013, if the committee recommends to go forward. Last week, he said the school's women's soccer stadium, an 8,300-seat facility in the early stages of construction, will have the potential to be expanded to 22,000 seats for football.

With an enrollment of 22,300, Papp said KSU is among the largest universities in the nation without a football team. Dooley said that makes KSU roughly the same size that the University of Georgia was in 1989.

But whatever the school's size, Dooley said that should KSU go forward with instituting a football program, it will be imperative to do so with an eye toward fiscal responsibility.

"It's got to be a practical approach to having nice facilities," Dooley said. "The first thing you've got to do with a stadium … is you've got to have money to build a football locker room and practice facility and all those things. That's starting from scratch."


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