1. First off, this is just a report to give those at GSU information. The only recommendation it makes is that the Sun Belt would be a good fit and that GSU is well-positioned to make a move to an FBS conference, should it receive an invitation. That’s the key.
What you should know: Georgia State can’t simply apply to the NCAA to move up to the FBS level without agreeing to join a FBS conference. The deadline to apply is June 1, with application materials to the NCAA by May 25. If GSU receives no invite, and therefore can’t apply, it must wait another year. Applying this year would allow GSU to play a FBS schedule by 2014. Waiting a year would put it at 2015, etc.
2. The report is 20 pages and built mostly from database and web searches. There was no travel stipend included for the authors, Collegiate Consulting.
What you should know: At a cost of $20,000, each page is worth its weight in gold. Just kidding. I have no idea what gold is going for these days.
3. The average travel distance to a Conference USA member is 593 miles with an average bus travel time of 9.9 hours.
The average travel distance to a Sun Belt member is 7.9 hours. “While SBC institutions are overall closer to GSU than those of C-USA, seven-of-11 members are more than six hours from GSU.”
What you should know: I’ve heard and read many GSU fans point out that it’s hard to build rivalries with CAA members because of the distance of the opposing schools. Wilmington is the closest, and it’s seven hours away.
As they are currently composed, I’m not sure that joining the C-USA or Sun Belt solves that issue. That could change as those conferences change, which looks like will happen sooner rather than later.
4. Joining C-USA wouldn’t force GSU to add coaches. It has a comparable level. Salary-wise, the report says that nearly all GSU coaches rank below the C-USA average.
What you should know: Open up your wallet, I’m guessing.
5. The report says that if GSU wants to join C-USA, “it would need to join another FBS conference in order to give itself an opportunity to be invited by C-USA at a later time.”
What you should know: That speaks for itself.
6. GSU has 48 full-time coaches, more than the Sun Belt average.
What you should know: The report says there would not be any immediate staffing or salary changes necessary. So, close those wallets!
7. Joining the Sun Belt would cause a pr0-forma increase in GSU’s budget from $22 million to $25 million.
What you should know: I’ve requested a copy of the financial documents for the Panther Athletic Club as well as Georgia State’s Athletics Department. I’m curious to confirm the financial data used in this report for GSU, as well as the revenues and expenses.
8. Georgia State would need to increase women’s scholarships in every scenario, according to the report.
What you should know: GSU has added sand volleyball and is in the process of deciding on another women’s sport. That was done to balance out the addition of 63 scholarships for FCS football. FBS football takes 85 scholarships, so GSU would need to add at least one more sport. There doesn’t have to be a scholarship balance, just an opportunity balance. Adding something like rowing could solve that, though I don’t think the Chattahoochee River would be ideal.
Also, GSU’s football practice facility has the space to absorb the extra players that come with a move up.
9. Football game guarantee revenue increases from $450,000 to nearly $1 million with a move to FBS.
What you should know: $1 million dollar is a nice round figure. The issue Georgia State and other low- to mid-major FBS schools face is, if the SEC’s and ACC’s of the world switch to nine conference games, the opportunities to receive those big checks will decrease by 25 percent, if my math is correct (4 non-conference games to three). Of course, if the NCAA increases to seven wins from six wins the minimum needed to reach bowl-eligibility, some schools might pay more for non-conference games they think they can win.
10. Levick says GSU hasn’t received an invite. No decisions have been made.
What you should know: That’s about it.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu