January 28, 2013

Division I would be troublesome for VSU

January 28, 2013 The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — During the past football season, The Times received numerous Internet posts, rants, calls and comments demanding the Valdosta State University Blazers move from Division II to Division I ball.

These comments made arguments such as VSU’s size makes it more of a Division I school than a Division II school, being a Division I team would increase game attendance for Blazers games, etc.

The Times recently sat down with VSU Athletic Director Herb Reinhard and Valdosta State President Dr. William J. McKinney to discuss Division I and VSU. Both Reinhard and McKinney give compelling reasons for not pursuing a VSU move to Division I.

Economically, it would cost millions more annually for VSU to participate in Division I. Valdosta State would have to find a new conference to compete in, and its teams would be out of postseason play for a four-year transitional period.

VSU would have to add four more competing teams to the 12 intercollegiate athletic programs already offered. The school would compete against mega schools and would likely be unable to continue the winning tradition it has established by winning multiple national championships in various sports during the past few years.

A Division I VSU would have never pulled off a feat like last year’s winning of national titles for both the football team and women’s softball team. There would be no reason for the city’s Parade of Champions Wednesday afternoon to celebrate VSU’s 2012 football and softball championships, and the 2011 men’s tennis champs.

Those who are pushing for VSU to move up to a much larger division are either unaware of the penalties they would face or the milions they would need to do so, but it’s a shame that the community isn’t more supportive of VSU and its various athletic teams now. People seem to forget that these are student athletes who are deserving of recognition now, regardless of the division they play in.

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