Answering your mailbag questions about Georgia State football

I asked for y’all to send me some questions, and you obliged with some excellent queries. So, here we go….

Q: With the move to FBS, are there plans to move out of the Ga. Dome and build an on-campus stadium?

A: Not as of a few weeks ago. There are two problems with wanting to build an on-campus stadium: where and with what money? If you can solve either with a sizable donation, I’m sure athletic director Cheryl Levick would like to talk to you.

Q: When will the Panthers release a depth chart?

A: I believe you are prescient. One came out during the weekend.

Q: Any news on Nermin Delic and Theo Agnew?

A: No. I’m sure Georgia State is tired of me asking. I e-mailed an NCAA official two weeks ago. He never responded. There’s really no telling, which is understandably frustrating for everyone.

Q: How has Coach Curry’s announcement of retiring effected recruiting if at all since it occurred right before football season?

A: That’s a good question. B.J. Clay said “it hasn’t affected mine. I still want to go to Georgia State. It’s a good program and I know Bill Curry has built up the program. The campus was a very good environment, my family liked environment and I liked the environment.”

Q: Has recruiting interest increased or remained stagnant since GSU announced they are going FBS?

A: Curry has said many times that Georgia State is having conversations with players that they may not have gotten more than polite interest from since the FBS move was announced.

Q: Does the fact that GSU will not play in the postseason for yet another two years hurt recruiting?

A: Who knows what goes on in the minds of 17- and 18-year-olds? From a reason standpoint, it would have no effect on this year because the student-athletes being recruited this year obviously can’t play this year. As for next year, very few true freshmen ever crack the depth chart, so it wouldn’t affect them next year either.

Clay said it doesn’t bother him and that his goal is to get used to FBS football next year and then make it bowls in the next years.

Q: Will AD Levick begin looking for a new coach during this upcoming season or will she wait until after the season?

A: I covered this in the story about Curry’s retirement, but I’ll recap. Levick will begin the search during the season, and hopes to begin the interview process in November.

Q: Would the Panthers consider playing in the new Falcons stadium whenever it is built or would they build their own?

A: I’m sure, if the price is right, they would. I would guess that a new stadium, which esteemed colleagues Tim Tucker and Leon Stafford reported could be finalized by the end of the year, is going to need as many sources of revenue as possible to pay down the hundreds of millions of dollars in bond debt that will be needed to pay for construction.

Q: Have there been any efforts to ensure better student attendance at home games this year?

A: Georgia State has seemed to increase its advertising with billboards, bus wraps and other devices throughout downtown.

Q: I see that Southern is playing UGA this year, is there any talk on a future matchup between G-State and either one of the in-state big time programs (hopefully this would not occur until we increase our depth with the added allotment of scholarships)?

A: I haven’t heard of any talk yet. Frankly, I would be surprised if this ever occurred, particularly when Georgia State moves to FBS. I can see Georgia State playing the out-of-state teams like the Tennessee’s, Houston’s and Alabama’s, but I don’t see Georgia Tech or Georgia ever wanting to play Georgia State. The risk is too great. They won’t even play the Panthers in men’s basketball.

Q: Has the fact that Kennesaw State is getting a football team effected our recruiting?

A: No. The Owls haven’t officially launched the program yet. They are putting together a financial plan that they will present to the Board of Regents at some point.

Q: Any scoop on future out of conference opponents GSU may be facing or hosting?

A: No, but I’ll ask.

Q: Any idea how many season tickets have been sold thus far?

A: Yes, almost 4,000, a 22-percent increase over last year.

Q: I’ve heard we will know something in November about the coaching position, does that mean we have someone in mind? Will the search be regional or nationwide?

A: The search will be nation-wide and will be assisted by a firm. [ click on the link above]

Q: Is our approach to CBC’s replacement to find a known quantity or “up and comer”? Will CBC be involved in sourcing a replacement?

A: Levick wants the best possible candidate. She prefers someone with head-coaching experience. I get the feeling she wants someone who is either currently a head coach, or has been one recently. Curry said he will be happy to be involved in the search if asked, and won’t be upset if he’s not asked.

Q: Can we survive the 4th quarter?

A: Fantastic question because the team flat got outplayed in the fourth quarter last year. Georgia State scored 34 points in the fourth quarter last season and allowed a whopping 123. The team didn’t give up more than 86 in any other quarter. Curry said the team’s improved strength and conditioning should help them win the final period this year.

Q: How much contact does the team have with Christo and Jake, and what sort of impact have these two had on the team’s attitude?

A: Well, Jake’s brother Louie is working with the team this year so the players do have an outlet to Jake. There’s also twitter….

Q: With the move to the CAA this season, can we still purchase beer inside the Dome? The next seasons?

A: Yes.

Q: Has Georgia State exceeded expectations this fall camp? Do you think we’re poised for a good season?

A: I guess that depends upon your expectations. Coaches say the team looks better, but they will never say the team is meeting expectations.

Do I think you’re poised for a good season? So much will depend upon the team’s confidence and health. If the offense can click early and take some of the pressure of the defense, I think you could have a good season. I would say your skill position players are very solid, but redshirt freshman quarterback Ben McLane has to get them the ball. He’s been accurate throughout most of camp, but how will he perform when the games are for real? He’s a confident, but not brash, guy.

If injuries mount and begin to affect both sides, things could get sideways.

There’s also the issue of special teams, which weren’t good last year. Teams that are learning to win, as Georgia State is, must take advantage of every scoring chance and can’t give up silly yards or points.

Q: How long before Christian Benvenuto is back?

A: Benvenuto is suspended for at least the first game after being involved in an altercation outside a Buckhead bar earlier this year. Curry hasn’t said when he will return. If it’s similar to Kelton Hill’s situation last year, Benvenuto won’t return until he tells the whole team he’s ready. I don’t know if that’s what Curry is waiting on.

Q: Doug….why is the NCAA taking so much time deciding on the eligibility of the three transfers? It makes me think there is something ambiguous/vague in the NCAA bylaws regarding this matter.

A: I wish I could answer this, but the NCAA can be glacial regarding some things. As noted above, I emailed them two weeks ago Agnew, Delic and Ronnie Bell and have yet to hear from them.

Q: Doug….Do you think there is any possibility that Georgia State will pursue acquiring land and buildings (particularly the stadium) from the Morris Brown (which is facing foreclosure) campus?

A: First, the stadium is apparently in horrible shape. Second, the stadium only seats 15,000, which isn’t nearly enough for FBS crowds. Third, I’m not sure it’s proximity to GSU’s campus is desirable.

Q: Doug, will you be at some of the games this year?

A: I should be at all the home games, as well as the trip to Rocky Top. Too soon to tell about some of the others.

Q: What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

A: African or European?

It doesn’t matter, she’s a witch.

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

33 comments Add your comment


August 27th, 2012
7:29 am

A for effort, thank you sir.


August 27th, 2012
7:34 am

Doug……..I believe many teams get around the ‘beer at games issue’ by having a seperate area designated for paying booster club members. IE. the Big Blue, Big Red, Big Green clubs. Of course, none at the refreshment stands.


August 27th, 2012
8:20 am

Hmmm. The questions remain the same.


August 27th, 2012
8:32 am

Good stuff Doug. Thanks for addressing these questions. The NCAA needs to get off its arse and make a ruling.


August 27th, 2012
8:40 am

Gotta love the fall. Love it even more now that GSU has a team and no longer has sit on the sidelines and watch…

I’ll be at the Dome on Thursday. Come join me, Panther fans, students, and alums…

Panther Man

August 27th, 2012
8:46 am

Beer (alcohol) sales at off campus facilities such as Ga Dome, Orange Bowl, Super Dome, are not governed by NCAA rules; im sure if the school wants to pay a fee to the venue they can choose not to allow alcohol sales. Every thing is negotiable!

Doug Roberson

August 27th, 2012
8:52 am

I just corrected that, thanks.

Red Panther

August 27th, 2012
8:59 am

Great update Doug; one more question, will the Panthers release a travel team roster soon?

Panther Man

August 27th, 2012
9:24 am

@ Doug, No problem— appreciate your work!


August 27th, 2012
9:27 am

This just got me pumped for Thursday! 2 more people to my party of 8 are coming now!

Thanks for the excellent coverage Doug! You really have been doing an excellent job lately!

Doug Roberson

August 27th, 2012
9:43 am

Thanks … i think


August 27th, 2012
10:07 am

Thanks Doug. See y’all Thursday night! The wait is finally over


August 27th, 2012
10:09 am

Thanks Doug!


August 27th, 2012
10:31 am

Thanks Doug.

See you guys Thursday.


[...] week only QB Oshay Carter was in action but Dacula HS ATH B.J. Clay had some very interesting comments in Monday’s AJC blog in regards to Coach Bill Curry’s [...]

Go Panthers!!

August 27th, 2012
11:28 am

Herndom Stadium, in it’s 1996 glory, would be an excellent stadium.

Now? Blech.

Astonishing Werepanther

August 27th, 2012
12:05 pm

Thanks Doug! Thursday can’t come soon enough!

Steve Nash's Pick and Roll

August 27th, 2012
12:16 pm

I’m ready to pick and roll my way into the Georgia Dome! Go Panthers! Drink early, drink often Panther fans!

Purchase In Advance

August 27th, 2012
1:03 pm

Large Crowds Expected!

GSU season ticket holder

August 27th, 2012
1:09 pm

We never need to build our own stadium. USF still uses the Bucaneers stadium.
Cant wait til thursday & watch our Panthers give SC State a beat down!

Come Back here, i’ll bite your legs off!

Highly Respected Southern Troll

August 27th, 2012
1:29 pm

Don’t know why Georgia Tech and UGA would consider Georgia State a risky game. Both schedule Georgia Southern (Tech starting in 2015), a MUCH more dangerous and difficult opponent than State will be anytime soon. A Yellow Jackets-Panthers matchup at Bobby Dodd would probably generate some publicity for State’s program and possibly draw the interest of people who graduated from both schools. Maybe Curry could use his Tech connections to help make it happen.

[...] Opening up the Georgia State mailbag [...]

Spread the Word

August 27th, 2012
4:21 pm


August 27th, 2012
4:35 pm

It is a recruiting loss for UGA or Tech. Right now if UGA or Tech beat us 56-14 we would still have something to show(look at us. we are just a start up and we were able to put up points against the big teams. come be a part of something). Stuff like that. UGA or Tech wouldn’t get anything out of it. UGA learned this when Drisell was GSU’s basketball coach. We beat them in 00-01 91-79 and 01-02 83-73, and even was the only school from the state of Georgia to make the NCAA tournament. I would love to see them play them, but the risk is too high with GSU as an FBS school and has some miracle game where we keep it close or win.


August 27th, 2012
5:34 pm

4,000 season tickets sold?!?! The last I heard about a couple of weeks ago ticket sales were hurting bad. Did a donor buy a whole bunch again?


August 27th, 2012
7:57 pm

Great Work! Go Panthers!

GSU Grad

August 27th, 2012
8:33 pm

I still can’t believe my alma mater is wasting money on a start up football program, will they have clowns at halftime? This program is a clown show……no more donations from me


August 28th, 2012
9:20 am

Doug – In your last mail bag/season ticket stats post you had data for 2011 and 2012. Do you know how many season tickets were sold the 1st season? I’ve been a season ticket holder since day zero when they first started sales. I’m just curious, thanks!


August 28th, 2012
9:58 am

Nice quote….”I don’t see Georgia Tech or Georgia ever wanting to play Georgia State. The risk is too great. They won’t even play the Panthers in men’s basketball.”

Awesome…….. I don’t know what I am more excited about. Football is awesome, but Hunter will have an unbelievable squad this year. With basketball and football this is going to be a great year. It is truly a good day to be a Panther. Is it Thursday yet?

GSU Grad.

August 28th, 2012
11:33 am

I am pretending like I won’t give GSU anymore money but I have never given in the past.
Why? Because I am really a GaSo troll.

Tom Yeager

August 28th, 2012
2:17 pm

I’m lonely.


August 28th, 2012
10:21 pm

I think gsu will be able to get plenty of talent from Atlanta ten yrs maybe they will be able to compete against


August 29th, 2012
2:26 pm

When will KSU get a football team:-( I’ve lived hear 16 years and its always “coming soon”