New study outlines cost of football team at Winthrop University - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

New study outlines cost of football team at Winthrop University

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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -

An Eagle on the football field?

It's a possibility at Winthrop University that's stirring up conversation on campus.

"There's not really a great big buzz around for our sports team, so I think a football team will definitely energize the campus," said student James Brewer.

"I think it'll draw a lot of students here. A lot of people in the community will come out to the games so I think it'll be a real good thing," said student Tyron Nowlin.

A new study released by Winthrop University officials shows how starting-up and running a football program would be pricey.

Officials say it would cost around $500,000 to start the program and between $1.7 and $3.3 million per year to operate it.

Facilities for the gridiron game requires an additional $11 million.

Athletic Director Tom Hickman told WBTV the school would need to increase its debt capacity and raise lots of donations to support the team.

School officials hope a football team will boost student enrollment, especially in males.

While some students think a football team will add to the college experience, others say it'll take away from what makes Winthrop unique.

"I think that's not a good idea. This is a very small school and I feel like that's what's appealing about this school," said student Dominique Council.

"If we have a football team then we're going to have more people come here and you're going to lose that personal ability to be with your professors," said student Stephanie Henry.

School officials say the study only gives a glance of what could be.

School leaders plan to study the idea more before making a final decision, but they want help.

The university will host a town hall meeting March 13thwhere students, alumni and resident can voice their opinions.

To read the study in its entirety, click here.

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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