Winthrop students divided on football program study - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Winthrop students divided on football program study

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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -

When you think about college football in South Carolina, two teams usually come to mind… Clemson and USC, but what about Winthrop?

WBTV found out that not all of Winthrop's students are ready to shout "hike' if football hikes their school bills.

"I think a football team would be great. It's something Winthrop needs," said Winthrop Junior Donald Weston.

Weston says he's excited to hear university officials are looking into the possibility of bringing a football team to the campus.

Winthrop University Athletic Director Thomas Hickman says he and other officials are looking at the possibility of starting a football program mainly to increase student enrollment, especially males.

Hickman and his team are studying several universities who've recently started football programs to weigh costs and benefits.

"We'll be looking at the total revenue and expense picture to see how it's going to balance out and to see what might be needed, if any student fees increase is necessary," said Hickman.

While Hickman wouldn't say how much it would cost to start the program at the university, he did say his team is exploring option of having a non-scholarship football program to help limit student fee increases.

"If they're really thinking about going forth with it and if it's going to raise tuition, then I'm probably would not approve of it," said student Laurice Ingram.

"That's an iffy situation, but if we have to raise tuition to have a football team, I'm ok with that," said Weston.

"In the long run, I think it would work but in the short-run, I think it'll raise a lot of questions and some eyebrows," said student Larion Laney

Hickman says he'll keep collecting data to present to the President's Advisory Council in January, where a final decision on the matter is expected by late spring.

Hickman went on to say even if the President approves a football program in the spring, it would take about three years before the team would actually take the field.

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