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The Atlantic Sun issued a statement Tuesday saying “we look forward to working with East Tennessee State and the A Sun membership as a whole in fully developing the opportunities for maximum competitive opportunity.”

Noland said the university also would have to add about three new women’s sports to go along with football in order to meet Title IX requirements. As they announced plans to bring back football, school officials also started a kickoff fund asking alumni, fans and former players to donate $250 to receive priority toward future season tickets.

“They’re not necessarily going to be Virginia Tech or Tennessee in three years,” Fulmer said. “Nobody should expect that. But we can be a viable program in four or five years and make it exciting for the students, make it exciting for the community and make a difference in this university.”