The Intercollegiate Athletic Committee at Towson State will meet Tuesday with the alumni group attempting to raise sufficient funds to save the football program at the school.
Jim Holdridge, leader of the alumni group, said a presentation will be made to the nine-member IAC, which voted 8-1 last month to suspend Tigers football in the wake of a projected $257,000 deficit in the athletic department.
The IAC later withdrew its recommendation before the University Senate, and was granted a delay to consider more information relating to the matter. The Senate will readdress football Dec. 3.
Many of the alumni said they had received conflicting signals from university officials, who first cited the deficit as the problem, then said more football scholarships are needed to make Towson competitive at the Division I-AA level.
Holdridge, who said he is confident his group will collect the $85,000 necessary by Dec. 1 to keep the program alive next season, prefers not to get involved in a debate at the moment, noting that "as far as we're concerned, it is the survival of the program that is at stake. Right now, we're not dealing with the matter of making it competitive."
Towson athletic director Bill Hunter said: "We are not asking the football people to make up the deficit. All we're looking for is a commitment to allow the team to compete."
Hunter said that the university's interest in football is no greater or less than before and said football scholarships through official channels have increased since the program went to Division I-AA in 1987.
"We've met our commitment, and we've tried to put in perspective that it is not enough," he said. "The Tiger Club hasn't been able to meet their commitment. This group has put a plan together, and they think they'll realize their goals that will enable us to increase the total to 55 scholarships."
By Dec. 1, 1991, the goal is another $110,000.
Holdridge said he is satisfied that the money the alumni is raising is targeted for football scholarships, calling it "clear and distinct. We're getting there. A local business has already contacted the Tiger Club about a sizable contribution. We're looking pretty good about meeting our objective."
University president Hoke Smith, who has the final vote in the matter, will meet with the alumni group after Thanksgiving, before the IAC takes its new recommendation to the senate.