Student begins process to set up a petition against move up to FBS

Joshua Farmer

One Appalachian State University student is petitioning to inform students of the pros and cons of moving up from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Dylan Rollins, a senior applied photography and applied technology major, started working with Nathan Bailey, Resident Hall Association executive board member and Student Government Association liaison, on setting up a petition to inform students.

“I just want people to get the conversation started,” Rollins said. “I just want students to know there is an argument against this decision and it’s in your best interest to research it.”

One of the main benefits of moving from the FCS to the FBS is money. The football team would see an increase in funding. According to the Final Report of the Athletics Feasibility Committee  in 2011, if Appalachian moved to Conference USA, the post-season has a revenue of $6 million.  In the Atlantic Coastal Conference, post-season football has a revenue of $34.1 million.

Rollins said this move would be great for the football team, but not for the athletic department because there is no guarantee that the athletic department will make money back.

There are 120 schools that have athletic programs in the FBS, 11 of have athletic programs not making a profit, Rollins said.

Rollins also believes the fan culture on game days would change drastically. After Eastern Carolina University moved up to the FBS, their student section downsized considerably because season tickets in the student section can be as much as $300 for chairback seating, according to the ECU athletics website.

“I am not a fanatic who hates football and is just trying to stir up trouble,” Rollins said. “The reason that I am starting this petition and the reason I am trying to get this going is because even though I love football, the direction they’re trying to take it in I don’t think it’s best for the student body, I don’t think it’s best for the university, as a whole, I don’t think it is best for the fans.”

SGA President Jake Cox aid this decision is not something to be taken lightly.

Last year, the SGA held a survey concerning the same question.

There was a 51 to 49 percent vote in favor of moving-up from the FCS to the FBS, Cox said.

“It was a valiant attempt to show that we were in support of what the Board of Trustees and of what the Chancellor were approving,” Cox said. “What they wanted to do with the university and I believe it went in the right direction and it had the best intentions for the university, for the student body. But at the same time it missed the mark of a substantial majority of the student body.”

“I just hope that there is a mutual respect for both sides,” Bailey said. “And we come to an agreement, whatever that agreement may be, as long as both parties are equally represented.

Story: MARK S. KENNA, Intern Photographer