Charlotte, N.C. — Feb. 12, 2010 - UNC Charlotte cleared a crucial hurdle in its quest to add a football program, Friday, when the University of North Carolina Board of Governors unanimously approved the proposed funding plan at a meeting in Chapel Hill. Having previously received unanimous approval from the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees, the 49ers are nearing their goal of fielding a football team in 2013.
“We can see the goal line,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois. “We still have some more to do, but it was gratifying to see the unanimous vote from the Board of Governors. That shows the trust they have in our Trustees and our ability to handle this project properly. We may not see the full benefit for 20 years but in the meantime our students will have a more complete college experience -- which is one of the reasons we want to do this.”
The move to add football in 2013 formally began September 18, 2008, when Dubois recommended the addition to the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. That decision came after 21 months of deliberation and research by a football feasibility committee, Dubois and others at the university. Dubois completed months of his own fact-finding “due diligence” following the unanimous recommendation of the football feasibility committee, chaired by Mac Everett, before making the formal recommendation to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees passed the recommendation without oppostion, Nov. 13, 2008.
“I am so thrilled for our university!” said the 49ers longtime Director of Athletics Judy Rose. “It is exciting for our former, current and future students. This decision will enhance the campus life in a way nothing else can.”
The move forward, which has received strong support from the student body and resulted in the presale of over 3200 49ers Seat Licenses, then rested on the approval of the university’s funding plan. That plan, which includes a combination of a debt-service fee and private support, received unanimous approval from the Board of Trustees in December before going before the Board of Governors, today.
“It was great to see the students (at the meeting) this morning,” Dubois added of the contingent of students that made the trip to Chapel Hill as a show of support. “Our students have provided a consistent and strong voice in support of football and that has been an important element in the decision making process. (Current student Body) President Joey Lemons as well as (former) presidents Tim Ernst, Justin Ritchie, Ben Comstock and Joe Franco - they all made a difference in getting to the positive decision we received today.”
“The Academic programs at Charlotte have always been strong,” Rose added. “They became stronger when we added Masters Degrees and even stronger and more respected when we became a Doctoral granting institution that focused on research. Now our athletic program has the same opportunity for greatness. Our athletic programs have always been strong. Now, we can become stronger. Football has been the missing link. This is indeed an historic decision in the evolution of this great university.”
The final step will come this summer when the General Assembly considers the university’s non-appropriated capital budget, which will include the approval of the issuance of debt for construction of the football complex as well as other construction projects on campus.
Athletics Media Relations Contact: Tom Whitestone, 704.687.6310, email@example.com.