Georgia Southern has started to put their five phase plan in motion to go from an FCS member to a full fledged member of the FBS.
The move, which would undoubtedly gain a ton of additional national exposure for football on television, is aimed to help the University “move from a regional university to a national university,” and keeping their current coaching staff intact as much as possible.
As the Statesboro Herald explains, the plan to move to the Football Bowl Subdivision, also called the "Soaring to Victory Campaign" has been split into five phases; Phase I: “Stabilizing the Program” ($15.5 million); Phase II: “Enhancing The Student Athlete Experience” ($2.85 million); Phase III: “Upgrading Athletic Facilities” ($7.5 million); Phase IV: “Improving the Fan Experience” ($10.5 million) and Phase V: “Expanding the Technology Infrastructure ($275,000). Note from FootballScoop> That $275k for Technology Infrastructure seems a little light.
Phase I will focus on paying coaches in all sports at or above the Southern Conference median salary. Athletic Foundation President John Mulherin explained “There’s no reason Georgia Southern should be the training ground for good, young coaches. If you've got a good, young coach, you want to keep them.”
Right now the operating athletic budget at the University is about $12 million. In order to rank amongst the bottom FBS schools they will need to come up with a minimum of $4.4 million just to cover everything from travel expenses to the additional 22 scholarships. Their budget right now ranks them 95th out of 125 other fellow FCS schools.
Amongst the other changes are increasing the seating capacity by 6,300 seats, and adding a 57,000 square foot football ops building to improve the current facilities. “We need the very best facilities so we can to do the very best job we can, and that’s why this Football Operations Center is so important for us, and that’s important for us whether we decide to move anywhere or not. Our locker room is atrocious. It’s embarrassing. It’s so embarrassing we don’t even take our recruits to show them. It’s awful, by any standard. It’s just awful. It’s rusted out. It’s dim. It’s dark. I wouldn't want to take my mother in there, that’s for sure. I think we’re doing our players a huge disservice. And that’s not our fault. We've just not had the resources to do something with that.” University President Brooks Keel explained.