Despite the 2017 season being over, the football team is already prepping for the fall season next year.
ETSU Athletic Director Scott Carter presented during Tuesday’s SGA meeting. Carter answered questions from SGA and introduced the new head football coach.
“I think everybody at this university is going to be very, very proud—continue to be proud—of our football program and the leadership and direction that we have,” Carter said.
One question from the SGA was what the football fee goes toward. Students pay a football fee as part of their tuition, and Sanders said it mostly goes toward scholarships for football players. Additionally, it helps in maintaining the football stadium.
Sanders also explained that football relies heavily on outside sources for the football program, not just students’ fees. Fundraisers, corporate partners, sky box and club seat sells were ways of keeping the football fee low.
“As a former football player…when it was here many years ago, it was eliminated because we did not have the help of the students,” Carter said. “Now we do, along with this other great plan that other people have bought into.”
Carter also asked SGA what they thought about Fall 2017’s tailgating. He asked if they believed it worked well and explained where students can park during games. “If it’s broken in your eyes, let me know so I can fix it,” Carter said about the football game experience.
Carter spoke to SGA members about how athletes are expected to represent ETSU. He explained their performance in the classroom and around the campus should be just as good as it is in their sport.
Sanders then introduced himself to SGA. He grew up in Morristown and spent several years coaching at other universities—including the University of Tennessee—and now ETSU. He became ETSU’s head football coach on Dec. 17.
“I’m just happy to be back home,” Sanders said. “I’m excited to be back in East Tennessee.”
Sanders told about playing in ETSU’s Mini Dome while playing football in high school and feeling like ETSU was a home since then.
“I hope as a football team that we represent you,” he said. “A football team in many ways is the front porch of the university. That’s what people see.”
He explained that people often see sports as reflections of the university’s health. When the athletic department is doing well, then it’s seen as the whole institution is also achieving.
Sanders ended his presentation by saying he wants the football team to be “a part” of the university, not “apart” from it, meaning he wants it to be connected with the rest of ETSU.
The Ballad Health Spring Game will be on April 5 in the William B. Greene, Jr. football stadium.
“I can tell you with my full, heart-felt commitment [Sanders] he and his staff are doing everything to represent you, represent me, represent all of our alumnus, our donors, our faculty, staff—everybody that cares about our ‘E’ and our colors,” Carter said. “They’re doing everything they can to carry pride through all those people.”