"Without football you're not viewed as a total athletic program"

Last month we wrote about the record numbers of colleges and universites across the nation racing to add football programs. In case you missed it the first time around, 12 new football programs will launch this year; from 2008-16, a total of 56 schools from 25 states will begin or re-start playing football.

Now, thanks to USA Today's Dan Wolken, we know why one school, and others like it, are so eager to get into the game.

"I wish we'd done it years ago," Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose said. "My whole reason for wanting football was more for security and protection for the rest of our athletic program. I kind of thought what has happened was going to happen.

"We've had a very strong athletic program here, but without football you're not viewed as a total athletic program."

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was founded in 1946, and the 49ers' athletics program launched in 1965. Competing first as an NAIA school and then as an independent, Charlotte moved from the Sun Belt to the Metro Conference to Conference USA, where they stayed until 2005 until national upheaval landed them in the Atlantic 10. In 2010, the school made the decision to add football and, in 2012, the school got the call to come back to Conference USA, bringing its brand new football program along for the ride. The rest of the 49ers' teams will begin Conference USA play this fall, while the football program (which plays its first game on Aug. 31) will wait until 2015.

Unlike most other new football programs who want to play their way up to the big time, Charlotte is jumping in to the deep end with both feet. Of course, unlike most other new football programs, Charlotte has some major resources to support its debut into major college football.

For starters, it comes from an athletics department that has been a Division I member for more than 35 years. The 49ers' men's basketball program has a Final Four trip to its credit, along with 10 other conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. The men's golf program has a national No. 1 ranking in its past, and the women's basketball, men's soccer and women's soccer programs have all made multiple trips to the NCAA Tournament.

The school also happens to sit in America's fifth-fastest growing metropolitan area, according to Forbes, and will be North Carolina's largest university by 2020, according to Rose. Charlotte is certainly ready for football to explode, with a 15,000-seat stadium that is easily expandable to 40,000, thanks to a $10 million donation from Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

And yet, with a successful athletics department at a growing university inside of a booming city, Charlotte wouldn't have felt complete without a football program. Makes you wonder why they waited so long in the first place. 

Solid 2013 trailer from Northern Iowa

In addition to their desire to be the best football program in FCS, Northern Iowa has taken strides to park itself in the top rung of FCS programs on social media. Of course, in the all-things-digital age of 2013, you can't be the former without accomplshing the latter. 

Throughout fall camp the Panthers release regular videos to their website, posting practice photos on Facebook and are active on Twitter through head coach Mark Farley and @UNIFootball.

But if we've taught our audience one thing this summer, it's that modern day recruiting starts with a great video. Luckily, Northern Iowa's got that covered, too.

Video: Utah State provides touching reminder of our impact on kids

Utah State first year head coach Matt Wells took some time at the end of practice to give a kid a memory that him and his family will never forget.

At the end of practice, coach Wells gathered his team to sing happy birthday to Tyson, who was celebrating his 10th birthday by watching the Aggies get after it during practice. The conversation Tyson had with defensive line coach Frank Maile after the team singing is equally as touching.

This is an excellent reminder to all of us as coaches to stay grounded. One look at the smile and expression on Tyson's face  is a great reminder of the impact that we can all make on a young person and their family.

A Texas HS is partnering with the Cowboys for a new indoor facility

The Frisco Independent School District is scheduled to vote this evening on the possibility of partnering with the Dallas Cowboys to build an indoor facility that the district could use for high school games, while the Cowboys use it as their indoor practice facility.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys and Frisco ISD (currently consisting of six schools with two more schools joining in the next two years) would share the costs with the school system using the facility for games on Thursday and Friday evening, as well as potential playoff games, and the Cowboys will use it to practice indoors during rain or cold weather.

Capacity wise, the stadium will seat a minimum of 12,000 fans for games with the ability to accommodate up to 22,000 for concerts and other events.

Creative idea here by the ISD and Cowboys partnering to meet both of their needs. The ISD has a similar agreement with FC Dallas (the professional soccer club based in the city), whose venue they use as one of their two stadiums to currently host games.

This is a really exciting possibility for the high schools that get to play in it, and we're really looking forward to seeing what the finished product looks like. Knowing Jerry Jones and his flair for the best, we fully expect it to have a few bells and whistles.

Photo: Old Dominion's creative new helmets

With all the new helmets coming out over the past few seasons, it's tough to find something that is original, creative and interesting. Old Dominion's new helmets have all those things covered.

The state of Virginia outline filled in with the Monarch logo looks very sharp and the font used for the number on the other side of the helmet is very unique, and incorporating both of those things with the matte helmet as the backdrop makes the new lid look stand out among other helmet reveals and should really pop on game day.

What are your thoughts?

Last week head coach Bobby Wilder signed a five year extension (taking him through 2017 season), and just as a reminder, ODU will be playing as a member of the FBS this year. They will open up with two road games (at East Carolina and at Maryland) before taking on Howard at home to kick off a stretch of four straight road games.

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