The rise of Division I-AA

Eric ThomasonCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2008

Bobcat students hope athletic program rises to top

With an enrollment of over 28,000 students Texas State University is larger than a third of the schools in the Big XII, yet it still doesn’t have a Division One football program (I still refuse to use the respective FBS/FCS titles; I think the new classifications are pointless). 

So why does Texas State struggle to become the next Appalachian State?

San Marcos lies in the heart of Central Texas, smack-dab in the middle of a hot bed of athletic ability. Getting the right talent pool here will never be a problem; the Lonestar State simply won’t allow it.

Columnist Kirk Bohls just wrote an article featuring Texas State athletics in the Austin American Statesman this weekend. He said that the lack of media coverage the school gets is hurting the program and that he was willing to help.

“You have to start from what Bobcat athletics aspires to be to find out the reasons why it hasn’t blossomed,” Bohls said.

Texas State Head Football Coach Brad Wright said he would like to see the Bobcats make a move to either the WAC or Conference-USA.

“It’d be big. It’d be huge. It could be the greatest thing that has ever happened to this university,” Wright said.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication professor Larry Carlson said that when the school changed its name from Southwest Texas State in 2003, it angered some boosters, causing the university to lose a great deal of support and money.

“The university is still years behind in promotions,” he said. “We need the student body to make some changes and get people excited in this town.”

But are “Bobcat boozers” willing to make the change?

Lets be honest, with the amount of support Bobcat athletics receives, the students certainly can’t blame the athletes.

What blue chip recruit wants to play in front a crowd smaller than he or she did in high school?

The school needs to do a better job of getting the students involved. The football players should wear their jerseys to classes each Thursday, and the Bobcat band, particularly the drumline, should make its presence loudly known on the Quad prior to home games.

On gamedays decorated vans with loudspeakers should cruise around prime student-living locations and general residential areas of San Marcos, stirring up awareness and anticipation of the upcoming kickoff.

It’s a trickling down affect. Without the hype of a program, its athletes will never thrive. But create a ruckus atmosphere and tradition each Saturday and winning may follow.

Until then, the Bobcat nation waits for its awakening.