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17 July 2007

JSU Board OKs Review
of Possible Move Up in Football

The Associated Press
7/17/2007, 12:33 p.m. CDT

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (AP) Jacksonville State University is considering a move to the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A.

The university's board of trustees approved formation of a committee Monday to explore a possible move to the top class in college football.

The committee is to report to the board's athletics committee on Oct. 15 with information on the cost and feasibility of the move up. The Gamecocks currently are in the Football Championship Subdivision, former known as Division I-AA.

The board also approved a recommendation to get preliminary architectural drawings by Sept.1 for a renovation of the south stands that would add 5,000 seats to the 15,000-seat Paul Snow Stadium, including a new press box and executive suites.

JSU President William A. Meehan called the review of a move up "very, very preliminary," but football coach Jack Crowe said it would be a natural progression and key board member Jim Coxwell said he expect the Gamecocks to eventually play in the same division as former archrival Troy.

"We've had contact with the Sun Belt Conference," Coxwell told The Birmingham News, "and I've talked to Troy's leaders down there and I've talked to the University of Alabama. It just seems like something that would fit our system here within the next few years.

"I think one year we will be Division I-A. We're headed that way. It's just a matter of time when we get there," he said.

Coxwell will serve as chairman of the subcommittee, whose other members are Crowe, Athletics Director Jim Fuller and trustees Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. and Jamie "Red" Etheredge.

Jacksonville State began the two-year transition to Division I-AA in 1993. It would serve a one-year transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

"The cost of athletics at the I-AA level is pretty well set and pretty expensive for all I-AA schools, whether you're Samford or Jacksonville or Austin Peay," Folsom said. "In light of that, this is something we need to analyze."


Information from: The Birmingham News

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