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Tarleton creates task force for potential NCAA D-I invite

Nikayla Payne JTAC News

Nikayla Payne JTAC News

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Today, the task force that was created for issues related to the potential transfer of Tarleton State University from a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II to Division I school met for the first time to discuss and ask questions about problems that may arise with an invitation.

Dr. Rick Richardson, Interim Vice President, Finance and Administration, is chair of the task force. Justin Boyd, Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance; Dr. Keith Emmert, Mathematics Associate Professor and Faculty Senate President; Lori Beaty, Assistant Vice President and Controller; and Dr. Keldon Bauer, Accounting, Finance and Economics Department Head and Assistant Professor are part of the task force. Jillian Hallock, Executive Assistant to Vice President and Assistant Vice President was also present to take minutes of the meeting.

According to the Collegiate Consulting Report done in September 2014, the application fee to become a Division I school is $1.4 million to $1.5 million, though this could have potentially changed in three years.

“As soon as we would get an invite, we would have to respond quickly,” Bauer said. “That means we would have to write a check for $1.5 million.”

Richardson raised the question of where the money for this application fee would come from.

Beaty had five possible ways to come up with the money needed. First, was using the reserve from university services fees. Other options included gift revenue through Texan Club if they chose to do so, which Beaty estimates only has about $500,000 right now or sales and service revenue, which is the profit/income from auxiliary services, like dining and housing. The other options were borrowing the money through a loan program or reinstating the fees that were waived for non-Stephenville students, which include parking, Student Center, Health Center, Rec Center and athletic fees.

“If we choose to go D-I, I think there would be some benefits of reinstating these fees,” Beaty said.

Athletic fees could also be increased, according to Beaty. Over a 10 percent increase would require approval of a student referendum before it goes to the Board of Regents.

According to Emmert, the reactions to potentially moving to a Division I school from faculty are not good.

“The feedback is pretty [from the Faculty Sentate] is pretty negative, to be honest,” Emmert. “There is a general fear.”

Some questions Emmert said the senate had were how is Tarleton going to pay for it, how will it pull away from faculty funds and non-athletic scholarships and will it have a negative impact on athlete morale?

“[Student athletes] want the opportunity to play against D-I schools,” Boyd said. “They like the competition.”

Richardson mentioned that coaches also wanted to coach at the highest level possible.

“It’s gonna be tough, especially when there’s a four-year transition period where we will still play D-II while transition to D-I,” Boyd said. “It’s gonna hurt, especially for specific sports, but I think it’s something we can overcome.”

The original Collegiate Consulting Report, which was done in 2014 and is the basis for most of the financial aspects, was recommended to be updated. The team voted unanimously to recommend to Lonn Reisman, Athletic Director, to update the feasibility study, which would cost $25,000, which will come out of the athletic budget.

The potential invite to become a Division I school is said to come as early as December, so the task force is working under a deadline.

The team will be making an appearance at the Faculty Senate and the University Budget Committee next month to present their findings.

The next task force will meet again in one week.

1 Comment

One Response to “Tarleton creates task force for potential NCAA D-I invite”

  1. Chais Lindbergh on October 6th, 2017 7:24 pm

    This is a great idea! I hope Tarleton can get the recognition it deserves!

    [Reply]

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Tarleton creates task force for potential NCAA D-I invite