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An ETSU Football Recovery Could Be In New Conference
The return of football to East Tennessee State University may be on the horizon.
But if football eventually does make a comeback at ETSU, it could look much different than it did when the Buccaneers’ now-dormant program played its final game, a last-second 16-14 win over The Citadel on Nov. 22, 2003, at Memorial Center.
A proposal to create an independent conference for non-scholarship football teams composed of Atlantic Sun member schools (and current Pioneer Football League schools) is now in the beginning stages.
“The question of football in our conference has come up multiple times throughout our history,” Atlantic Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart said. “It makes sense to be a topic of discussion. … It’s certainly something that we will continue to monitor, as far as the needs of our membership.”
Gumbart said ETSU, Campbell, Jacksonville, Mercer and Kennesaw State are among the schools that would be considered if such a conference was formed.
“It’s something that we have on our radar screen,” Gumbart said. “We will continue to monitor the number of schools that are interested in or are currently participating in non-scholarship football. So, I think it’s fair to say that we’ll continue to be sensitive to that and try to be able to act when and if the circumstances dictate that we could help meet our memberships’ needs with a new sport.”
He said a previously scheduled meeting between university presidents, set for June 3-5 in Daytona Beach, Fla., would be the first realistic opportunity to discuss the proposal.
“What we’ll try to find out with our [member university] presidents as we move along is … we’ll see what their preference is,” Gumbart said. “Whether there’s real interest, or whether there’s passing interest. … I think our presidents will have the input on that.”
BREAKING NEWS: An ETSU Football Recovery Could Be In New Conference
BY Brian T Smith, Herald Courier