What does it take to start a football program? Is football in our best interest as a university? How much money will this all cost? These were some of the questions Georgia State president Mark Becker faced when a football program was proposed in April of 2008. Most universities have a solid football program, but like every college once did, Georgia State has to start from scratch.
Ever since its opening in 1939, Georgia State has always had athletics, but never football. Local fans have asked if football on Saturday's would ever come, but GSU's previous president Carl V Patton would simply reply "not in my life-time". Spirits were down, but ever since Mark P Becker was hired to run Georgia State, it has been different. Football is well on it's way to Atlanta Georgia.
Starting a football program may sound difficult, but is a dream of many football fans. Their is no standards to follow. Their is no previous all-time greats to look up to. And their is no coaches that have set the line of expectancy for the program. You have complete control; the programs is in your hands.
A new football team requires a new coaching staff. And what a new coaching staff requires is money. MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY. Some say "you can't do anything without money", and i'm 100% sure that "anything" includes starting a college football program. Not only do the coaches require salaries, but you also need a stadium, a practice field, a weight room, equipment, and much much more. All of which costs a whole lot of MONEY. GSU currently plans to raise their athletic fee for the fall semester by 85$ to help the financial dilemma.
Georgia State, commonly known as the Panthers, are in lack of the one thing that physically represents their football team..... uniforms. It may not sound like a big deal, but the schools colors have a lot to do with a college football team. You can't make T-shirts, jerseys, or hats(more money) for the fans or team unless you decide on your uniform. Georgia State's main colors are almost in perfect resemblance of Penn State, wearing white and royal blue. Since the Panthers have quite a while until their 2010 season opener, there is no stress in making a decision.
One question that you may ask is "How do you get players to play for non existing team?". Well..... it's difficult. Their are no locker rooms to show recruits, no stadium, no facilities, no highlights, just the campus. Since a single season of football has yet to occur at Georgia State, there aren't even fans to support your decision. But some how, some way, Georgia State head coach Bill Curry signed 26 recruits this off-season. Recruits say that Curry told them his goals, plans, and vision for Georgia State football, and many were convinced.
Bill Curry has is a very well established coach, having won national coach of the year in 1989, and has already been inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall Of Fame. Curry is known for making football programs more stable with his old school type coaching, and most expect him to get the Panthers off to a good start in 2010.
2010 may seem like light years away, but I promise you that it's closer than you think. You'll be seeing the Panthers kickin' it up in no time.