A flyer circulated on the College of Charleston campus created quite a buzz when some students interpreted "Imagine It: College of Charleston Football" to mean the school was investigating the possibility of starting a football program.
The flyer, instead, was publicizing a forum to discuss the various sides of the issue. The event will be held today at 7 p.m. at Carolina First Arena's McAlister Hospitality Room.
"It's an academic exercise," said College of Charleston director of athletics Joe Hull. "It's a business school forum, part of a series they've started called "Thinking Differently: 360-Degree Viewpoints Forum."
Hull is part of a panel that includes Mac Everette, who headed UNC Charlotte's football feasibility committee; Dan Shoemaker of ESPN; and Anita Zucker, owner of the South Carolina Stingrays. Post and Courier columnist Ken Burger will be the moderator.
"(Football) comes up all the time with students, especially during football season," said Marcia Snyder of the College of Charleston's School of Business. "We're hoping to get students to come out to this forum … so they can see the various sides of an issue."
Both Snyder and Hull emphasized that there is no thought of starting a football program at the school.
Hull, who spent 23 years working in the Atlantic Coast Conference, said he has a good handle on the costs involved in fielding a football team. In annual scholarship costs alone, to compete on the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) level would be approximately $1.4 million.
"I do think we'll do some review about what it might cost," Hull said. "Cost is a big issue, but so is 'fit.' Does (football) fit at the College of Charleston?
"I think it will be a very good academic exercise, an interesting forum, good conversation, a good debate. Hopefully, people will have a good sense of what the pros and cons are, give it serious consideration and learn what the impediments might be.
"We're not talking about starting a football program. We're just having a conversation. That doesn't mean we won't ever have one, but we're not in the process of looking at one right now."