- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - An internal report unveiled Sunday shows Winthrop University would need major donations and millions of dollars in borrowing to field a new football team at the South Carolina public university of around 6,000 students.

The report that athletic director Tom Hickman shared with Winthrop’s campus trustees said a football team would need nearly $500,000 to start, between $1.7 million and $3.3 million a year to operate, and about $11 million for facilities, The Herald of Rock Hill reported (http://bit.ly/1ohdjFr).

But a new football program could boost the university’s enrollment growth goal, the report said.

Winthrop President Jayne Marie Comstock scheduled a campus meeting for later this month for students, employees, alumni and York County residents to weigh in on the idea.


“I have a feeling we may need to have more than one (campus-wide meeting),” she said Sunday.

The biggest cost would be for a new practice field, strength and conditioning rooms, and support space for the team at the university’s current athletic complex about one mile away from Winthrop’s main campus, the report said. The study assumes Winthrop could rent a football stadium owned by Rock Hill School District for games.

Operating costs would depend on whether football players are recruited with the offer of tuition help, which would be about $3.3 million annually, or the school chooses not to offer scholarships and holds the budget to about $1.7 million a year. A marching band and color guard could need about 90 student participants, the report said.

Winthrop’s Board of Trustee took no action Sunday on the football question. More discussion is planned for the next board meeting in May.

___

Information from: The Herald, http://www.heraldonline.com