Education

More News | |

University consolidation could benefit athletics, ASU director says

  • Follow Education

Consolidating Augusta State and Georgia Health Sciences universities offers an opportunity to consider taking ASU’s athletics program into the top NCAA division, Athletic Director Clint Bryant told the Consolidation Working Group on Tuesday.

That could mean adding some sports, but not football, at least for the foreseeable future.

Bryant’s was one of three major reports the group heard on the considerable amount of work going into creating Georgia Regents University, the proposed new name for the consolidated school. At one time, ASU had been Division I as a founding member of the Big South conference but it is now Division II in most sports, except in men’s and women’s golf, Bryant said.

And it has done well there – the men’s team won back-to-back national championships in 2010 and 2011, Bryant said.

To get to Division I in all sports will not be cheap – it costs $1.48 million just to make the application and it must come with an invitation from a conference, which is going to want to see that the university has the right facilities and infrastructure support, such as training rooms, Bryant said. And it will take much more than ASU’s current $3.5 million budget.

“In order for us to make that move, we will have to have somewhere between an $8 million to $12 million budget to even start that conversation,” Bryant said.

Within the next nine months, he is hoping to present to the administration a potential strategic plan for how to achieve that over several years.

GHSU President Ricardo Azziz joked that he was “looking forward to seeing that strategic plan with numbers” attached. Bryant said if the move is made, the university could look at adding some sports, such as men’s and women’s lacrosse, but football would add several million to the price tag.

“I don’t say that football is not down the road,” Bryant said. “It’s way down the road.”

But the consolidation – and especially the move to provide more of a residential campus with amenities recruits want – will greatly add to recruiting, particularly with the growing metro Atlanta area, he said.

“This involves an unbelievable potential opportunity for this university,” Bryant said. And it is one that is not getting talked about at the forums with all of the vocal protest of the Georgia Regents name, he said.

“There are a lot more positive and comprehensive things going on that really shines a different light on what consolidation is all about,” Bryant said.

And that might be a problem with the forums themselves, Azziz said.

“We’ve done too much venting and not enough talking about substantial issues,” he said. “We may need to just change the format.”

The school is about to embark on its branding effort soon and has applied for gru.edu to be its new Web address, said David Brond, the senior vice president for communications and marketing at GHSU.

The university is on the verge of hiring a marketing firm that will help it pick a new logo, new colors and essentially a new “brand” for the university. And that branding process means telling of the great work being done at both institutions, Brond said.

“There are some great things happening here,” he said. “We’re going to tell great stories and continue to build our brand for years and years to come.”

And in the end, that is what matters, Brond said.

“Our brand is not our name. It’s not our logo,” he said. “It’s what we stand for.”

Comments (7) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
raresaltydog
8
Points
raresaltydog 09/11/12 - 11:49 pm
3
0
Branding

Brond and Azziz are clueless, in fact Azziz is educated far beyond his intelligence. Try the branding all you want. When you alienate the alumni, myself included, you WILL find yourselves standing alone, wondering what happened when the world collapsed around you.

soapy_725
43598
Points
soapy_725 09/12/12 - 05:32 am
1
0
Selling the scam
Unpublished

More smoke and mirrors. And many many more dollars.

Kingbiscuitboy
360
Points
Kingbiscuitboy 09/12/12 - 07:51 am
0
0
Dream on

The school will always be a "Walton Way U", a school where locals can get a higher education degree and still live at home with their parents. Dorms need to be added directly on campus to attract large number of students from other areas. The school is land locked. So that won't happen. Don't even consider moving to D1 until it happens, though. They want the school to go global? The Big South Conference?

xzy
3
Points
xzy 09/12/12 - 09:33 am
1
0
Hire a Marketing Firm???

Why waste the money hiring a marketing firm...Just go directly to Aziz and ask him what HE wants, since that is what it will end up being anyway... Haven't we learned this once before with the wasted $45,000 on the name survey.

Riverman1
81366
Points
Riverman1 09/12/12 - 11:26 am
0
0
Don't Like the Message Change the Format

So he doesn't like what he hears and he is going to change the format of forums where people speak honestly to him?

And that might be a problem with the forums themselves, Azziz said.

“We’ve done too much venting and not enough talking about substantial issues,” he said. “We may need to just change the format.”

Riverman1
81366
Points
Riverman1 09/12/12 - 11:32 am
1
0
D-1 Basketball

I agree with Clint Bryant's proposal. I've actually been saying this for a few years. Augusta is big enough to support D-1 basketball and has the facilities with their gym and JB Arena. Playing quality opponents a few times a year and Big South conference teams would be like bringing in a pro sports team to the area. It would require a committment by the private sector and city. B-ball is a sport where a small school can make it to the bigtime. Look at Butler University. 4400 students and yet it almost beat Duke for the national championship.

twentieth century man
102
Points
twentieth century man 09/12/12 - 02:43 pm
1
0
Show me the money

These are hard times. Charitable donations are down; the Board of Regents budget is down with the threat of layoffs. Are we to presume that this athletic money will come from alumni donations when the alumni are incensed due to the name change? How will the new "brand" be funded? Is it planned to raise ticket prices to pay for this? Should a business concept such as a "brand" be applied to education? Why invent a new "brand" when the potential donors liked the old "brand?"

Gage Creed
16451
Points
Gage Creed 09/12/12 - 09:22 pm
1
0
oh yeah....Go

oh yeah....Go JaGRUars.....beat Gonzaga!

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs