JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - ETSU is crunching the numbers to find out how much it would cost them to start up a football team and they got some high-profile help today.
Former University of Tennessee Head Football Coach, Phillip Fulmer, was there to give advice.
"Football is an expensive sport, you have 63 scholarships. So yes, it's expensive we knew it going in," said David Collins, Vice President of Finance and Administration.
We got the budget for the proposed football program, that was submitted to the Tennessee Board of Regents and learned $125 of it will come from students in the form of fees that will go straight to football, equaling up to $2.8 million dollars. "100 dollars of it for the operations cost but also the 25 to help with facilities; look forward to needing to construct a stadium," said Collins.
Collins said they plan to start the building blocks for the program in the fall. "You'll start with your coaches and your recruiting process; have got to begin looking at where we're going to play," said Collins.
Collins said they plan to pay around $500,000 on the program the first year. That 500,000 will quickly multiply as the years go on, costing ETSU $3.5 million to run the program. But the grand total will come out to 4.9 million after miscellaneous expenses and gender equity costs. "That's not just the cost of football though, that's the cost of support you have to have for football. You'll have some requirements for academic councilors, strength training," said Collins.
We learned that they plan to earn $4.5 million dollars by the 2018-2019 fiscal year, putting them at a loss of almost $500,000, but Collins says that's just an estimate. "We think we have been really high on our expenses and conservative on our revenue. So we're looking at a worse case scenario and hope we have it covered," he said.
We also found out, they would learn this month if the student fees have been approved with the Tennessee Board of Regents.