The University of North Florida is starting to gather information, and reach out to students and faculty, on the possibility of bringing football to campus.
However, the ball's just started rolling, as president John Delaney explained in an article on Jacksonville.com.
“I do want to stress that we’re thinking about thinking about it. We’ve made no commitment. We haven’t begun discussions with the faculty or looking at the budgets.”
Back in 2004, Delaney made a recommendation to make the move to Division I with "three no's" in mind - no change in admission standards, no academic funds to be used on athletics and last but not least, no football. All other sports now compete in Division I.
But with the college football landscape changing constantly the past few years, along with the fact that enrollment has risen despite dip in the economy, Delaney's mind has opened up a bit.
“I’ve long said 25,000 students ... to be able to make it work, and so I thought it was many, many years away, especially with this recession. Then the major shakeup in the conferences, where the big boys raided the little boys and the little boys raiding the mid-majors, and the mid-majors raiding the entry-level conferences.”
Delaney added that many other schools in their conference (Atlantic Sun) are also in the beginning stages of exploring the possibility of bringing football to campus.
The results on enrollment and bringing a sense of school pride are raved about by programs who have added football recently, and if North Florida does add football, they'll be able to walk right out their front door and have one of the richest recruiting bases at their fingertips.
We'll keep you updated as to how this one plays out.