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July 31, 2004

U Texas-Arlington Initiates Classification Upgrade Study

FROM THE LONE STAR STATE comes the latest analysis of moving up in classification. The University of Texas at Arlington has commissioned a $25,000 study on the cost and feasibility of sports expansion for women’s golf and soccer and the establishment of a I-AA football program.

Veteran college athletics consultant Charles Neinas of Neinas Sports Services has been selected to conduct the study. The university could not be in better hands.

There seems to be a positive atmosphere for the upgrade in competitive level: students recently approved a $2-per-semester-credit–hour fee increase to support the expansion of the programs. Meanwhile, similar proposals at many other schools throughout the country have been resoundingly defeated.

President James Spaniolo said of the study, “Ultimately we’re going to need to decide what’s in the best interest of the university. You have to be very careful and strategic about it. It’s not something you would do just because it feels good.” Well said, prez.

U Texas-Arlington is the latest in a long line of schools desiring a move up in classification. Such moves are often thought to result in almost magical benefits, such as increased alumni giving, improve student applications and other difficult-to-prove elements.

The folks at U-Texas-Arlington would be well-advised to proceed cautiously.

More later . . . .

(this 239 word excerpt—with attendant commentary—was distilled from a 531 word article from The Shorthorn News Editor of 7-29-04)