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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Frequently asked questions about football

  1. Athletic LogoWhat is the history of UNC Pembroke football? There was a football team at UNCP after World War II that ceased competition after the 1951 season. Several members of the UNCP Athletic Hall of Fame played football, including Ned Sampson, Delton Ray Locklear, Thomas Oxendine, Theodore Locklear, Les Locklear, Marvin Lowry, Joseph Sampson and Molon Strickland. The team was very competitive against junior college and club teams.
  2. Are UNCP students in favor of adding football? A survey was administered to more than 1,000 UNCP students in September 2004. Ninety-two percent voted “yes” to establish a football team.
  3. Are there other colleges that have added football recently? In the last two years, four North Carolina and South Carolina universities started football programs. Coastal Carolina University, Shaw University and St. Augustine’s College added football in 2003 and North Carolina Wesleyan College added football in 2004.
  4. How was the decision made to study football at UNCP? A study was initiated by the UNCP Board of Trustees at the request of Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and the Athletic Department. In July, the trustees voted to conduct a football feasibility study.
  5. Who will conduct the study? The University will utilize the services of consultant George “Buddy” Sasser. He is a former college football coach, conference commissioner and, most recently, the director of athletics at Coastal Carolina University before retiring in 1999.
  6. When will the feasibility study be completed? The goal is to have the study completed and submitted to the UNCP Board of Trustees at their meeting on December 3, 2004.
  7. Will a football program cause UNCP to violate any Title IX gender equity rules? The consultant’s study will review all aspects of Title IX compliance and make recommendations if needed. UNCP will take action steps and formulate a gender equity plan if needed.
  8. Why would UNCP add football? The lesson, learned from other colleges and universities, is that football would give UNC Pembroke an opportunity to build stronger relationships between the community and the University, improve student retention rates, increase enrollment and improve school spirit and pride.
  9. How do UNCP athletic programs compare to the other 14 UNC campuses with athletic programs? Ten campuses of the UNC system compete in the NCAA’s Division I. The remainder are Division II programs that play football. All UNC campuses that compete in the NCAA’s Division II - except UNCP - have football programs. UNCP is the only UNC campus that is neither a NCAA Division I university, or does not play football.
  10. Would UNCP be forced to change conferences if it added football? UNCP is currently a member of the Peach Belt Conference (PBC). All members of the conference are located in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina except UNCP. None of the 12 members in the PBC play football. Because the PBC does not sponsor football, UNCP may choose to remain a member of the PBC and participate independently in NCAA Division II football competition. UNCP currently sponsors two sports, wrestling and track that are not PBC-sponsored sports. UNCP may also examine joining another conference. The consultant’s feasibility study will examine conference affiliations. There are four Division II conferences in this region that play football. They are the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the South Atlantic Conference (SAC), Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC), and the Gulf South Conference (GSC).
  11. How would UNCP fund the proposed football program? Football would be funded by private and corporate gifts, student athletic fees, Braves Club support and ticket sales.
  12. What are student athletic fees currently? Full-time UNCP students pay $187.50 per semester for athletics. Students taking less than 12 hours pay a pro-rated fee.
  13. How do UNCP’s athletic fees compare with other UNC universities? UNC Asheville at $241.50 a semester and Western Carolina University at $214 per semester have the highest student athletic fees among UNC universities.
  14. When would the student athletic fees increase for football? If UNCP decides to add football, the new athletic fee would be in place at least two years prior to the team playing its first game.
  15. What about students who pay the fee but graduate before the first football game is played? Any student who graduates from UNCP prior to the first football season would be given 10 free tickets for each semester they pay the new fee. These transferable tickets will be valid for 10 years. It is anticipated that general admission would be at least $10.
  16. Will UNCP reduce funding for other sports if football is added? No. Football would be funded only from the increased amount of athletic fees. The amount of the current fee will continue to support UNCP’s existing sports programs.
  17. Where would the team practice, dress and play home games? The consultant’s feasibility study will examine these questions along with the costs of new facilities. The study will also investigate the possibility of playing games at existing facilities in the community and the possibility of using existing resources on campus.
  18. Who would the football team play against? If the football team does not join a conference, it would be classified as an NCAA Division II independent. An independent team would schedule as many games as possible with teams in our region. These teams might include Davidson College, members of the CIAA, such as Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Central University and Winston Salem State University; or SAC members, such as Wingate University, Catawba College, Lenoir-Rhyne College and Mars Hill College. If the UNCP football team joins a conference, it would play seven or eight conference games and two or three non-conference games.
  19. Will adding football raise tuition costs? No. Athletics are not funded by tuition charges.\
  20. If UNCP added football, would there be cheerleaders, marching band, dance team and color guard? Yes. UNCP already has a dance team, an award-winning Cheer Squad, a Marching Band, under the direction of Tracy Wiggins, and a Color Guard, under the direction of Linda Thomason.
  21. What lessons have other schools learned after the addition of football? Every school that has added football in the last 10 years has seen an increase in their retention rates, and UNCP is seeking to improve retention. A number of schools, including Coastal Carolina, have also experienced a dramatic increase in enrollment.

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