Bobcats’ move to FBS advances university’s mission to excel
By Andrew Osegi ’14
Texas State University has taken another step forward in its quest to be nationally recognized as a top tier institution by achieving Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) status in NCAA Division I athletic competition.
Alongside the university’s designation as an Emerging Research Institute in January 2012 and as a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2011, Texas State’s move to the FBS — when the university joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) this summer — was a landmark achievement.
Initiated by Texas State Athletics in 2007, the drive to switch to an FBS conference is the result of years of work by Texas State staff and athletics supporters. The upward progress will continue with a planned move to the Sun Belt Conference in the summer of 2013.
One aspect of participation in the FBS and a major goal for the Texas State football program is to qualify for a post-season bowl game. Appearances in future bowl games are expected to yield record-breaking game attendance and garner national publicity for the university.
Additionally, the FBS ascension will increase scholarship aid to student-athletes — Texas State athletics will be able to award 85 scholarships, up from the previous 63 — and attract more sponsorship and donations to the university.
The revenue increase expected to result from FBS competition will go back into the development of Texas State’s athletic facilities and programs.
Students can already see improvements such as the Bobcat Stadium renovation and expansion. Once complete, Bobcat Stadium will have an approximate seating capacity of 30,000 and will stand as a colossal edifice symbolizing Texas State’s growth as a contending FBS university. Improvements to the Bobcat Baseball and Softball Complex are also on the horizon.
“Bring on the TV appearances and shared revenue!” says Kolten Parker, a journalism senior at Texas State.
Playing prominent teams — Texas Tech, Navy and Wyoming are on the Bobcats’ 2012 schedule — excites students and alumni alike, engendering a boost in school pride and school reputation. Indeed, Texas State students are a key element of the university’s successful transition to the new division.
Rolando Gonzales, a junior at Texas State majoring in accounting, expresses the attitude that the university hopes will be shared by students, staff and alumni alike: “I didn’t go to many of the football games in past semesters, but now that we’re playing different, more challenging teams, I’m ready to see a game this season! Not to mention our new beast of a stadium!”