Friday, May 25, 2012

JSU and the move to FBS

I know many have been wondering what's going on with the discussions on JSU's supposed move to the FBS ranks. had a chance to talk with JSU's Athletic Director, Warren Koegel, regarding the current status of where we're headed and what kind of new information JSU fans would be curious about.

In terms of going into the FBS, Koegel said that there were several factors that JSU is currently working on; raising money, upgrading facilities, and creating more marketing and promotions to get alumni back on campus. He and Dr. Meehan talk on a daily basis regarding the possible FBS move. He also said that with recent institution's decisions to stay FCS, that JSU, if invited, wouldn't necessarily pass up the opportunity. Koegel also said JSU is currently "talking to everybody", meaning institutions and conferences that are looking to go to the FBS or looking at FCS schools to move up, so JSU can make the best decision on its direction. Makes sense, right? Why wouldn't JSU be talking to other FCS schools regarding an Eastern WAC division or any other conference? It's very possible there is an alliance being built for these schools to move up together, via the WAC. Koegel wouldn't confirm or deny the possibility, understandably so. That would make a very interesting and competitive conference to the Sun Belt, MAC, and C-USA, but most of those fans believe otherwise. The NCAA would have to grant a waiver to the WAC just to stay alive. We've all heard the discussions regarding the WAC and how they may add several eastern FCS schools to their conference. We've also heard that the Sun Belt will not be adding any additional schools to their mix. That info came out this week as SBC commissioner, Karl Benson, made the announcement during the SBC annual meeting in Destin, FL.

JSU is moving ahead with upgrading the facilities to make it FBS ready if an invite were to come in the near future. According to Koegel, it could be as early as two weeks or even longer before JSU is in any position make an announcement. JSU is currently upgrading the softball and tennis facilities, but Koegel did state that upgrading The Pete was his "#1 priority." JSU is working on plans to make this happen in the near future. The baseball complex also needed to be upgraded. Both facilities will need redesigned seating, restrooms, audio and video systems, and concessions, but the The Pete will obviously be more costly and complex.

FBS status will also give JSU availability to more quality athletes. Koegel recognizes that we have some great athletes here at JSU, but when you only give 63 full football scholarships, compared to the FBS limit of 85, you limit the talent you can bring on campus. Obviously, this factor will increase the talent level at JSU. (Note: Troy fans don't take this into consideration when they most recently beat JSU. Troy wants no part of JSU in the Sun Belt and will do everything to keep us out).

Koegel realizes that JSU must also get more Alumni back on campus. JSU must create more marketing promotions and events to enhance the fundraising. Alumni will give, but they'll only give if they have something to give for. Koegel knows this. He was appreciative of so many JSU fans bringing up the tailgating issue, merchandise issue, and the JSU awareness issue. Koegel said that JSU has hired a new ticket management company, which was the reason why we haven't seen the 2012 options yet. That should be available within the next couple weeks, and JSU fans will have more options for purchasing tickets.

It has been interesting the last few weeks with all the realignment, and it is surely to get even more interesting with the new 10 year moratorium being discussed. The WAC will definitely have to move quickly with that moves for approval. We'll keep you updated as we get the information, but please let us know your opinion on this.


  1. Its a shame that Troy is scared of JSU. It would be great to have a regional league w/ JSU, Troy, USA, Chattanooga and MTSU battling, but that would make too much sense.

  2. Thank you, GamecockIllustrated, for doing the work for the Star, the Gadsden Times, and the Birmingham News -
    The SunBelt message board is littered with various comments of trying to "block" the WAC-E concept by rethinking the addition of App and GA Southern. Too bad for the belt - if it happens or not, we'll always be troy's Big Brother, FCS or FBS

  3. Thanks for the article!

  4. GREAT JOB! Thanks for the update!

  5. Nice article. You obviously are taking the pro-FBS side. We can agree to disagree on that. I'm sure we will both support the program either way.

    Here are two of my main problems with the move up. First, there is next to no way of winning a National Championship in FBS with the way the structure is set up now. Staying FCS allows us the opportunity to make that happen. This is something JSU has not accomplished at the FCS level, which brings me to my next point.

    What has JSU done at the FCS level on a consistent basis to make anyone think the move up to FBS will be successful? The team has been between mediocre to good in the OVC era. I would argue, with a few exceptions, that JSU has been disappointing, and underachieving. The win over Ole Miss clearly stands as a contradiction, but what happened afterward? They finished 9-3, with a second round loss to Wofford at home. Despite superior talent compared to most of their opponents, they were fortunate to win several of those games. They could have finished as low as 3-8 in a season where they had better talent than everyone except for Ole Miss. I think we all know where responsibility for that lies.

    With all of the negativity I mentioned above, I think we will get there eventually. I am very glad to see the plans to upgrade the Pete. I hope that the community, and especially the student body will come out and support the basketball teams this year. The men's team has a chance to be very good, and the Pete offers us a chance have a really good home court advantage. Dave Loos Jr., play-by-play announcer for Peay said that the Pete could offer one of the greatest home court advantages in the league if the JSU community would come out and support the team. Perhaps some sustained success would help.