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Wichita State releases study on feasibility of adding football

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The Shockers haven't fielded a team in football in any division since 1986.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

According to The Wichita Eagle, Wichita State University has commissioned a report on the feasibility of starting a football program, both at the FCS and FBS levels.

WSU officials released a 69-page report entitled "Football Benchmarking Analysis" prepared by College Sports Solutions on June 21, and are now looking for community feedback.

The analysis stated that WSU would have to spend close to $40 million to start the program up and will cost approximately $6 million to maintain on a year-to-year basis.

The report is part of a year-long evaluation of the athletic department at WSU and is seen as a key part in assessing future options for Shocker athletics.

In the report, options regarding staying in the Missouri Valley Conference and leaving the MVC were discussed, but largely dismissed by leaders.

Interim athletic director Darron Boatright has made statements in the past about the report and its significance, saying "it's not a confetti cannons" moment and that it's meant to be informational.

One thing that could prevent WSU from formally going forward with instating a football program is cost. It would cost approximately $250,000 just to start the process as an FCS program, while an FBS program would be around $585,000. After five years, those budgets would increase to approximately $6.5 million and $10.5 million, respectively. Those costs are before any stadium construction.

Additional scholarships, cost-of-travel and a potential increase on current tuition are also concerns. The report also recommended the addition of multiple women's sports including soccer, bowling, crew and swimming/diving to stay Title IX compliant.

That being said, WSU is taking public feedback on the potential for Shockers football and public outpouring on social media has generally been positive, and the existence of a feasibility report could be seen as a big step towards a potential football team. The study was the first of its kind commissioned by the university since 2008, and the eighth commissioned since the program shuttered in 1987.

Those willing to provide feedback can leave a name an number on a feedback form at wichita.edu or goshockers.com.