that's not what he's saying at all. for example, coca cola just signed on for a 10 year, $10 million dollar deal with GS providing athletic AND academic scholarship support. anyone noticed the GS/coke zero billboards popping up in ATL featuring willie fritz? no way this happens without leadership helping push this and the GS move up to FBS. president keel has been a breath of fresh air in comparison to the last prez who was a stick in the mud. he understands the big picture that the GS move up to FBS and the success of the football team brings great things to the university for all stakeholders. the money games this year at NC state, GT, and navy are worth close to $2 mil in payouts. if GS was still FCS they might get half that amount.
erk russell and football did wonders for a sleepy GS back in the early 80s. this is the next progression in using the football stage to assist the academic side of GS. beating FL brought a ton of attention to GS last year! that's not just good for football, that's good for the entire school.
Grube did wonders to address the school's academic reputation and standing - and if anybody thinks he didn't care about athletics, go back to the press conference right after Hatcher was whacked on the Bishop Fieldhouse steps. Grube took that thing over.
The Coke deal was a renewal of a deal that was already in place. There is more money involved but the deal was an extension of something that was already going on. Maybe having a captive audience of 20,500 students and a few thousand faculty and staff is more the reason for it than going to FBS.
Keel talks about exposure but doesn't say how it will manifest itself or just what that exposure is (playing on ESPNU? Really?) The money for the move isn't there. It also won't be there. I believe Keel and Kleinlein know this but won't say it because they don't want folks to abandon ship. Seriously. There is no expectation of bowl revenue, even if Southern plays in one as soon as next year. Not just a little but none coming from any bowl game. A lot of teams lose money on bowl games (ask Wisconsin, which lost money going to the Rose Bowl). There is also the specter of some of their moves not paying off - and that could mean having a fourth money game each year, and no OOC home games. Get used to five home games a year - at most. The days of six, seven, more home games a year are gone.
Think of all the extra expenses now - the travel budget is about to blow up and not just for football, which will take a large chunk. It's now airfare, plus you still have to get buses, and hotels and meals for 100 plus players, coaches, additional support staff, and then hoops and baseball have to do the same thing. These money games are needed just to stay afloat.
Keel is taking a huge risk with the money of some very good and trusting people for a very specious reward. The Sun Belt is a joke. Add Georgia State, Idaho and New Mexico State, three of the worst programs in I-A, and then even think about adding UMass, giving you four of the five worst bottom feeders? Yeah, that does wonders for your reputation.
I have met Keel and Kleinlein and I don't trust either one.
Now, if there is a plan in place to move up in a few years to Conference USA or something like that, I think I might support that. But the exposure garbage Keel keeps spouting and the money and resources that just aren't there and won't be there have me turned off to the move.