Updated: Georgia State well-positioned to move to FBS

Georgia State could join Georgia Tech and Georgia as FBS playing members by 2014-15.

Georgia State’s athletics department commissioned a report that explores the expenses and revenues from moving from the FCS, where Georgia State currently plays, to the FBS, which features bowls games and the BCS. The report concludes that “GSU is well-positioned to make a transition to FBS” and “that the Sun Belt would be the best fit.” A copy of a draft of the report, along with the contract between Georgia State and the authors, Atlanta-based Collegiate Consulting, was obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Freedom of Information Act. The report cost $20,000.

Athletic director Cheryl Levick said that no decisions have been made and that Georgia State hasn’t received any invitation from any conferences. She declined to comment on the details of the report, which focuses on the financial aspects if  GSU were to be invited to join the Big East, Conference USA, Sun Belt,  Mid-American or Western Athletic conferences. The Panthers are members of the Colonial Athletic Association. Georgia State will play its inaugural CAA schedule later this year.

“We are performing our due diligence to fully understand potential opportunities in the rapidly changing landscape of college athletics and particularly college football,” Levick said in a statement. “We will evaluate the information in the feasibility study to determine the best course of action for Georgia State.”

Schools that have been invited to join a conference that plays football on the FBS level must submit to the NCAA a strategic plan and pay a $5,000 fee by late May. A two-year probation period follows. If Georgia State were to accept an invitation from a FBS school, and the NCAA allows the transition, the Panthers could play in a bowl game by the 2014-15 season.

More than a dozen schools have conducted FBS feasibility studies within the past three years. Three of those schools — Massachusetts, Texas San Antonio and Texas State — have become new members of conferences that play FBS football.

Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson said last week that his conference is looking to expand, but prefers existing FBS schools.

Georgia State is well-positioned to move to the Sun Belt from a budgetary standpoint. Its projected $22 million in revenues in 2011-12 is 44 percent more than the average Sun Belt member, according to the report. However, the difference in those revenues can be traced to student fees: Georgia State receives more than $16.5 million compared to $5.6 million for an average Sun Belt school. The totals for the other schools and conferences  are from previous years are being updated to give Georgia State the most accurate information.

The report recommends that if the Big East is Georgia State’s goal, it should follow the model set by two Florida schools.

“GSU would be an ideal candidate once it has moved to FBS and established itself in another conference, identical to the approach taken by UCF, South Florida, Boise State, etc., which have all recently joined the Big East.”

Georgia State’s revenues are almost $24 million less than the average Big East school, and 23 percent less than Conference USA.

“Institutional support would need to increase, but the primary increase would come from externally driven revenue from athletics,” according to the report.

Georgia State’s expenses of $22 million are almost $20 million less than what they would spend as members of the Big East in 2014-15. The biggest expense increase would fall to Sports and Administrative Operations, which includes travel, and other non-salary, non-scholarship related items.

Collegiate Consulting does not consider the WAC or MAC to “be viable membership options.”

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

268 comments Add your comment

[...] It just so happens that new Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson said conference expansion would be one of his first priorities. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports via the school’s commissioned report that “that the Sun Belt would be the best fit.” [...]

Captain Obvious

February 21st, 2012
11:10 pm

What’s a ll the excitement about?

Captain Obvious

February 21st, 2012
11:11 pm

IN related news, Lambuth and St. Francis just received an invite to play in the SEC.

Go Jackets

February 21st, 2012
11:18 pm

GSU people have no right to trash talk Georgia Tech. First, practically everyone that went to or goes to Georgia State would have no chance of being admitted to Georgia Tech. Second, Georgia Tech has a 100+ year history in football, including four national championships. The collegiate football awards for the best player (Heisman) and best coach (Dodd) are named after former GT coaches. Hell, even GSU’s coach is a former Tech coach. Win some games and get your SAT scores up before you run your mouth, or at least beat all of the NAIA teams on your schedule this year.

BariBlue

February 21st, 2012
11:19 pm

YEAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuscon

February 21st, 2012
11:22 pm

@Go Jackets

Who is trash talking Tech? Your attitude is the reason you can only sell out one game a year though. Get off your high horse. No one here thinks we’re beating you in football or the classroom any time soon. We’re excited to maybe be going to the SUN BELT.

acm

February 21st, 2012
11:23 pm

@ Go Jackets

Actually, GSU has a lot of alum that are also GT alum. Me for instance

GSUAlumBaseball81

February 21st, 2012
11:34 pm

Relax Go Jackets! You must have mistaken a GASO comment for a Real GSU comment! My Brother is a GA TECH Grad and I a GSU Grad. No worries for the Stingers as it’s all good in the ATL. Some Engineers and some Business Professionals! As for Captain Idiot, Go back to your GNATS!!! and your Little League tiltles……………………………………………….. lol

@ Go Jackets

February 21st, 2012
11:53 pm

Your school is full of a bunch of depressed, socially retarded, neurotic nerds. Get over yourself with your “football tradition” and “SAT scores”. The world’s changing, I don’t even think English is the primary language on Tech’s campus anymore. Buzz off loser. Also, thanks for visiting Georgia State’s blog. You fear the sleeping giant.

PantherCJ

February 22nd, 2012
12:11 am

Woohoo I’ll mirror what I said in the other comment thread. Move now build in the FBS and not the CAA

Captain Obvious

February 22nd, 2012
12:12 am

GA State = WKU

Gotta Love Southern Fans

February 22nd, 2012
12:26 am

We’ll miss you, Goats. But you can still bully Kennesaw State…for now.

Captain Oblivious

February 22nd, 2012
12:46 am

Atlanta, GA = Bowling Green, KY

david p

February 22nd, 2012
12:59 am

I know a lot of people that went to to state and tech. Not sure why the hate gojackets. I’ve been a Tech season ticket holder since before State had a team. Now proudly rep my Panthers. ATLiens stick together.
Go Jackets
Go Panthers

Obsessed

February 22nd, 2012
1:00 am

Captain Obvious should be placed on suicide watch! Poor guy.

South Alabama fan

February 22nd, 2012
1:21 am

Georgia State was a founding member of the Sun Belt and left because, as I recall from 25 years ago, its men’s basketball program was not competitive. That was a different time and a different conference (only USA is left from that time). I would love to have the Atlanta market and Georgia State long term. I also see potential in Georgia Southern too. If there were room for both, you’d make a fantastic pair (rivals) and a healthy rivalry would serve both schools and their new conference well. There are cards left to play in the domino shifting that must still be settled. Louisville and one other school (my guess Rutgers) will end up in the Big 12. Who knows what CUSA/Mtn West are going to do, but my guess is they are trying to lock up as many markets as possible to force the networks to deal with them or lose access to a lot of potential college football programming. I think the Belt will lose North Texas and FIU but hopefully not more. The WAC will likely fold. There will be FBS programs left over who fit the Belt’s footprint. At some point, however, the situation will become very stable and those who are not in FBS conferences will find it difficult if not impossible to upgrade. Georgia State has, so far, played about as well as possible regarding the changing landscape in that they are in a FCS conference (unlike Charlotte who told the CAA that they wouldnt play all their sports in the CAA and find themselves shut out of not just CAA but the Big South as well), recognizing that there is a limited time opportunity for upgrading, and are trying to position themselves to get an opportunity to do so, and haven’t dumped all over those that can provide access to the big time. The Atlanta market is great, Georgia State is a good school, and the history of FCS is irrelevant at the FBS level. Attendance history and alumni support are important though. I do think that Georgia State will end up in the Belt if it wants to be. I seriously doubt CUSA/Mtn West will be an option for any FCS upgrading program.

AgentOrange

February 22nd, 2012
1:47 am

Thank you GSU. This is what we have been waiting for. Open your wallets GSU fans.

slimseville

February 22nd, 2012
4:28 am

Set it in motion and make it happen sooner than later Levick!!

[...] The AJC reported on their possible move: [...]

[...] this comes to fruition, predict the year that Georgia State first recruits a better class than Georgia [...]

The Truth

February 22nd, 2012
8:28 am

LOL!!!!! GA State can’t even compete with the D-II schools in the state! Valdosta would own the Pansy Panthers on the football field.

Seriously…where is this “fan base” that y’all have dreamed up? There is no way you’ll ever average the 18-20k per game that is required by the NCAA to be an FBS school. Atlanta is owned by UGA, Tech, Auburn, and Alabama. Don’t forget that Kennesaw and Mercer will also be adding football in the next 2 years. Come on people, Wake up!

By the way, your athletic department is in serious financial trouble. It’s widely known as being woefully mismanaged. State football will be just like your fan base in 2 years – nonexistent.

A Question

February 22nd, 2012
9:32 am

Seriously, what is all this talk about? Georgia State completed a feasibility study. You guys know that there are MULTIPLE schools at the FCS level who have conducted these and are just going to stay in FCS. There’s no invite, and won’t be one for years to come. Lots of smoke for nothing. I actually feel bad- this is getting the hopes of fans up only to have nothing come of it.

panther

February 22nd, 2012
9:35 am

Lol @the truth. Couldn’t find any facts so he made some up.

[...] Here are a few more bits of information from the report commissioned by Georgia State as it explores… [...]

The Truth

February 22nd, 2012
10:31 am

Panther – check out the numbers…the real ones…not the numbers you have fabricated in your head. Take off the rose-colored glasses and come to grips with reality.

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
12:10 pm

The Truth – Check out the numbers…the real ones…not the numbers you have fabricated in your head. Put on some glasses and come to grips with the reality that GSU is going FBS.

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
12:14 pm

@ A Question, Those schools decided to stay FCS b/c the feasibility study said they didn’t have the money and support to move up to FBS. GSU does, get over it, and get used to it!

A Question

February 22nd, 2012
12:20 pm

Actually, one school, Appalachian State, had both the money and support. Georgia State, on the other hand, does not currently meet the minimum requirements for home football game attendance at the FBS level.

Sluggo

February 22nd, 2012
12:24 pm

Not only did those other FCS schools like Georgia Southern realize they did not have the resources to make a move to FBS at the completion of their FBS feasibility study, none of those schools have had FBS commissioners talking about them in radio interviews. Look, we get it, you’re upset. GET OVER IT!

Sid Miser

February 22nd, 2012
1:06 pm

Commissioner Benson, thanks for nixing gawga snake from receiving an invite to the Belt. Let ‘em prove themselves as a bonafide college football team in CAA and make ‘em earn a bid.

A Question

February 22nd, 2012
1:09 pm

Hey Sluggo- your school hasn’t even released the FBS study yet. Who are you to say what is inside of the report?

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
1:36 pm

Doug, can you write something up showing that you do not need FCS success to move up to FBS. This argument is tired and irrelevant.

Sid Miser

February 22nd, 2012
1:42 pm

I can tell you folks what it most likely says: “After further review, we have discovered that Georgia State University has made a huge mistake attempting to establish a football program. We do not have nearly enough funds to to pour good money into a lost cause. We now have decided that we should drop down to NCAA Division II for approximately two (2) years beginning in 2014, at which point the university will move all future football games to the campus and play NCAA Division III football. We have reached an agreement with the City of Atlanta Parks Dept. to borrow some aluminum bleachers capable of seating 1,250 fans. The university will then pursue a volunteer football staff from the intramural programs. We are terribly sorry for not being able to compete with UT-San Antonio, UNC-Charlotte, South Alabama, Old Dominion, Appalachian State, Texas State Georgia Southern universities. We just do not have enough fans to carry on. Go Panthers.
Bye, bye, Billy Boy.

GSUtimes2

February 22nd, 2012
1:51 pm

@Mick Dee- Ok. I only asked bc I actually know someone named Mick Dee and he would ask the kind of questions you are asking.

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
2:24 pm

Oh poor sad miser, I can only hope to understand how you must feel now that GSU is moving to FBS. Barnhart & Durham and the 2 Live Stews have no idea what they are talking about when they say GSU should move to FBS.

Keep crying and putting GSU down, it will help cure your depression, but not much else.

Sluggo

February 22nd, 2012
3:07 pm

Hey A Question – Why are you so concerned about GSU football aspirations. Why don’t you crawl back in your hole.

GSUAlumBaseball81

February 22nd, 2012
3:22 pm

Go Away GASO GNATS!!!!

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
3:33 pm

@ Sluggo, because it makes them more irrelevant in the State of Georgia than they already are.

GSU is in Statesboro

February 22nd, 2012
3:48 pm

Pretty hilarious that you guys don’t realize that this is a media stunt to cover up for not having a spring game.

Atlanta Night School

February 22nd, 2012
4:00 pm

GSU to the SEC. Why stop at the Sunbelt. We are going to the SEC. We play in the dome.

GSU is in Atlanta

February 22nd, 2012
4:04 pm

Pretty hilarious that Southern fans don’t realize that them spinning this media release is a way to cover up being jealous of GSU going FBS.

Sluggo

February 22nd, 2012
5:21 pm

It’s such a media stunt that Doug had to submit an FOIA because the administration would not divulge any information. I tell you what. Hang on to your “britches” and enjoy the ride. Haters!

Randyinsavannah

February 22nd, 2012
5:42 pm

As a Georgia Southern alumnus, it’s pretty obvious that Georgia State has surpassed us as the number 3 team in the state. Something we’ve been proud of for so many years. At this point the writing is on the wall. Once you guys go FBS, whenever that might be, we will become even more irrelevant. You guys should not be so defensive because it’s a natural reaction from us and other FCS teams in our situation. Look at it like this. We’ve been playing football for 30 years. In those 30 years we’ve had tons of success to include 6 FCS championships. As Tony Barnhart and Wes Durham mentioned on their show today, that’s a very small piece of the puzzle. So the only thing we’re left to do is tear down GSU at all cost. Similar to politics.

To be honest, once KSU start its team, due to the size and location, it will likely leave us behind as well.

It’s hard to grasp after having so much success, but this is a game about money and potential. It’s sad that FCS football is our peak.

Atlanta Night School

February 22nd, 2012
6:58 pm

great news. we can now watch troy state in our quarter filled rented stadium and still live in mom and dad’s basement while going to school at night. i am so glad uga rejected me. atlanta night commuter college is the best.

Butthurt

February 22nd, 2012
7:10 pm

Hey Atlanta Night School – You sound severely butthurt. LMAO! Somebody put a net underneath his windows!

Butthurt

February 22nd, 2012
7:15 pm

Atlanta Night School: Hi, my name is Atlanta Night School.

Class: Hi Atlanta Night School.

Atlanta Night School: I’m here because Georgia State is going FBS and I am pissed and butthurt! I don’t know what to do! PLEASE GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

GSU96

February 22nd, 2012
7:31 pm

Very important basketball game at 7. Let’s go Panthers and get number 20.

AgentOrange

February 22nd, 2012
7:40 pm

Or, “Atlanta Night School” could be kids that had to work and go to school to pay their own way because “mommy and daddy” didn’t.

Kenneth

February 22nd, 2012
7:41 pm

FBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 22nd, 2012
10:21 pm

FBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!