JOHNSON CITY — East Tennessee State football is suddenly in the open field, a blank slate ready to start being filled in.
Where do the Buccaneers go from here? And how quickly?
A vote Friday by the Tennessee Board of Regents approving a hike in ETSU athletic fees that will help fund a new football program has cleared the way to consider all the possibilities. But countless details will have to be addressed before the players run onto the field in their brand new stadium, a packed crowd cheering while the band plays.
It begins with new conference affiliation and the hiring of a head coach and staff. ETSU officials hope a team will be ready to play by the fall of 2015.
If ETSU really wants to aim high, it can try to emulate what Old Dominion has done. Called the most successful FCS start-up ever, the Norfolk, Va.-based Monarchs began playing football again in 2009 after a 69-year absence. Their record in four seasons is 38-10, with top 10 rankings and playoff appearances the last two seasons.
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