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Appalachian to Study Football Program Opportunities

BOONE–Appalachian State University has announced plans to convene a study group to consider the opportunities and challenges ahead for the institution’s football program.

Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski told members of the university Board of Trustees meeting on campus Dec. 7 about the study to be conducted next year by a group of alumni, students, faculty, parents and friends of the university. He said the study group will focus on identifying opportunities to enhance Appalachian’s football program in light of the proposed realignment of Division I football.

“If the NCAA adopts the recent recommendations of its management council when it meets next year, it would effectively block most I-AA institutions from moving to Division I-A in the future and ultimately might force a number of existing I-A universities to compete within Division I-AA,” Borkowski said.

“Given the changes in NCAA Division I football requirements currently under consideration, now is a prudent time for us to begin considering the evolving opportunities and challenges that may lie ahead for Appalachian’s football program,” he said.

The study committee will examine ways to enhance Appalachian’s existing program including facilities, support services, resources, schedule and other aspects of a successful intercollegiate football program. George Goodyear of Charlotte will chair the committee which is expected to complete its recommendations by September 2002.

“While we are obviously proud of the success our student athletes continue to achieve year after year, the study group will focus on maximizing the quality of Appalachian’s football program within the context of the university’s overall mission,” Borkowski said.

Appalachian fields teams in 20 NCAA Division I sports, including Division I-AA football. The Mountaineer football team has earned I-AA play-off berths in nine of the past 13 seasons and will face Georgia Southern in the second round of this year’s play-offs tomorrow.