Reinhardt University President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood said on Thursday he's forming an exploratory committee to investigate starting an intercollegiate team.
"I do believe this exploration is appropriate for us at this time," Isherwood said. "It is important for the continued growth and stability of Reinhardt to reach its strategic goal of 1,000 traditional students attending the Waleska campus by 2015. Other schools of our size and ability have recently added football successfully."
Reinhardt, a private college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, has more than 1,100 students enrolled this semester at its main campus in Waleska and satellite center in Alpharetta.
Isherwood said the exploratory committee will be made up of students, faculty, staff, trustees and community members.
He will ask the committee to have its findings ready to present to the university's board of trustees at its May meeting.
Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Bill Popp said he's "excited to even think about the future possibilities of a college football team."
"I think the opportunity to have football here at Reinhardt would create feelings of unity and pride not only for the university, but also for the surrounding community as well," he said.
The university currently offers 15 sports programs - eight for women and seven for men - plus a coed cheerleading squad. The majority of the teams compete as members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Appalachian Athletic Conference. This season, there are 92 institutions nationwide competing in football at the NAIA level.
All 16 of Reinhardt's sports programs also offer athletic aid to qualified student-athletes.