UNCC's Dubois to Trustees: Kickoff in 2013
Dubois says he was hit with what he calls the 'f' question almost as soon as he became chancellor three years ago. When will the school play football? Today, he submitted a plan to trustees that calls for the 49ers to begin play in 2013. They would start playing in the Football Championship Subdivision series, formerly known as Division One-Double A. Dubois says football will help the university raise its overall profile in the region. The most important thing for me was what would be in the best long term interest of the university? And what would help us achieve our strategic objectives? What would help Charlotte own this university over the long term? But football will be expensive. Dubois estimates it will take 45 million dollars just to start up. Nearly half that would go towards a 12-thousand seat on-campus stadium. Athletic director Judy Rose says playing on campus would be ideal because of what that can do for a school. Rose: Tying us to the community, having our alums come back to campus is far more enticing than having us go to another spot off campus. It just engages folks. To raise money, Dubois' plan calls for using a reserve system similar to the personal seat licenses the Panthers sell for season tickets. Dubois calls for selling 5-thousand seat licenses - at 1-thousand dollars apiece - 6 months after trustee approval. Dubois' plan calls for students to start paying football related fees in 2010. By 2013, they would pay 100-dollars per semester to support football. That's' 100 dollars less than what an independent panel had recommended earlier this year. That panel had recommended the 49ers move up to football's top division - Division One - in four years, but Dubois says the school needs to take a wait and see approach. Dubois did not offer the trustees any estimates of what the annual cost of a football program would be. But he acknowledged there are a lot of funding questions that will need to be figured out. The trustees plan on making a final decision on the issue in November. For WFAE News, I'm Scott Graf.