Regents approve UT Permian Basin football program

The University of Texas System Board of Regents authorized UT Permian Basin to proceed with a Football Initiative Business Plan that will strengthen the ties between the university and its community, while supporting UTPB’s 2009-19 strategic plan to increase enrollment.

UTPB President David Watts said the proposal has received campus and community support, including from the local chamber of commerce.

The plan includes the addition of a football program; construction of practice facilities, a locker room and training and office space; implementation of a fundraising plan; and repurposing of an existing student-approved fee to support the costs of the program.

“UT Permian Basin will not be building a stadium, and we would play at the Division 2 level, which prides itself on an approach that takes into account both academics and athletics,” Watts said.

Commitments of $3 million are already in hand for the estimated $9.5 million needed to start the football program and support its operation for four years.

The university is committed to raising the start-up funds and will not begin the program until the funds have been achieved. At that time, construction will begin on facilities and office space required for the daily operations of the football team. Renovations to existing structures are expected to be completed by August 2014.

“There is a lot of excitement in the Odessa Midland area for this program, and I for one am very supportive,” said UT System Board of Regents Chairman Paul Foster, moments before the plan was unanimously approved by the Board.

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