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October 23, 2000

Gazing into the crystal pigskin

John Arenberg is sports information director.

Many of my friends say they don’t read their horoscope because they don’t believe anyone can predict the future. Then they hang up the phone so they can listen to the seven-day weather forecast. For those of you who still have an open mind, here is a glimpse of Emory in a time far, far into in the future…

August 2020
Emory de facto President William M. Dooley announces the formation of a varsity football team to compete in NCAA Division I, beginning in fall 2025. “Presidents may come, and Presidents may go; Notre Dame may come, and Florida State may come; but they all shall fall prey to the Eagles.”

In accordance with NCAA regulations, Emory must undergo a five-year transition period before the move becomes official. After the press conference, athletics director Chuck Gordon receives two phone calls.

The first is an exploratory call from Lou Holtz inquiring about the head coaching position. The second is from the University of Nebraska looking to schedule a “competitive” home game in the year 2028.

September 2020
Students receiving their tuition bill are shocked to see their student activity fee has more than tripled from $65 per semester to $210. The University explains the fee increase as a necessity to raise the money needed to fund 80 football scholarships.

October 2020
Emory’s application for membership to the Atlantic Coast Conference is rejected. The Georgia Tech athletic director says afterwards, “It’s bad enough to be second fiddle to [the University of] Georgia in our own city, but we ain’t going to give up our IQ crown to anyone.”

Inside sources reveal that 90-year old Coach Bobby Bowden of Florida State was instrumental in Emory’s rejection because the school would not interview his great-grandson for the head coaching position.

November 2020
Per NCAA requirements to have a home stadium with seating for a minimum of 35,000, Emory announces plans to raze the eastern half of Lullwater to build what will be known as Lullwater Stadium. Students receive a letter explaining that their activity fee will increase from $210 per semester to $850 in order to finance the stadium construction.

December 2020
28-year-old R.J. Noble is introduced at a press conference as the school’s first football head coach. Noble previously spent six years as an assistant coach at Texas A&M, Minnesota and Tennessee. “I promise to create a program that represents the best ideals of the university,” he declares.

Attending the press conference are public television station WPBA, Creative Loafing and The Wheel. Noble’s salary makes him the second-highest paid employee at Emory. In protest, the chairs of the history and psychology departments resign.

January 2021
Emory is accepted into the Southland Conference, joining the likes of Lamar, Louisiana-Monroe, McNeese State, Northwestern State, Sam Houston and Troy State. Noble declares, “We are proud to be associated with these outstanding institutions and pledge to uphold the prestige of this conference.”

February 2021
The University decides to build additional shuttle roads in Lullwater to accommodate the anticipated vehicle traffic from television production trucks, VIP limousines, emergency medical vehicles and concessions delivery trucks.

March 2021
Citing a cash crunch, even after raising student fees to $1,200 per semester, the University announces it has sold off 10 percent of its Coca-Cola stock. The plan is to replenish the coffers with sale of seat licenses in Lullwater Stadium.

April 2021
Noble hires the last of his 14 assistant coaches at an estimated annual commitment of $500,000 in salaries. To fund the salaries, the University announces it is disbanding the track and field programs.

May 2021
Emory disbands the University Senate Committee on the Environment (COE). No explanation is given. In protest, the committee chair resigns, but the University refuses to accept the resignation because the committee and the position are now considered non-existent.

June 2021
Plans are unveiled to raze the other half of Lullwater to build offices for the football coaching staff, locker rooms for the anticipated 85-player squad, medical training rooms, team meeting rooms, an indoor practice facility and a state-of-the-art weight room. Plans call for the president’s house to be relocated 80 yards away to make room for the construction. In protest, the COE chair goes on local television to announce his resignation, which the University still does not recognize.

August 2021
Noble receives a verbal commitment from his first recruit for the incoming freshman class even though the first season is still four years away. “I’ll do what it takes to stick around to be a part of that team,” says Billy Joe Sanders of Norman, Okla.

October 2021
In order to thwart any possible Title IX lawsuits, the Board of Trustees orders the athletics department to increase its percentage of female student-athletes. To offset the incoming 85 football players, the department disbands its men’s programs in cross country, golf, soccer and swimming.

January 2022
The Wheel reports that freshman Billy Joe Sanders had a 1.8 grade-point average his first semester, increasing the likelihood that he’ll need a fifth year to complete his degree. Noble will not comment except to say, “Everything is proceeding according to our plan. Just trust us.”

February 2022
Construction on Lullwater Stadium is already a reported
$10 million over budget. To cover the shortfall, the University signs a sponsorship deal with Tricon Corp. to rename the not-yet-finished facility Tricon Stadium. “We feel this name combines the best of the old and the new,” Gordon states.

March 2022
Tickets for the inaugural 2025 season go on sale at 7 a.m. The first visitor arrives at 8:20 a.m. to ask for directions to the president’s house. By the end of the day, 164 tickets have been sold for the home opener. In light of the disappointing ticket sales, Emory disbands its baseball and men’s tennis programs to help cover the projected financial shortfall.

April 2022
The admissions office announces that the average SAT score for the incoming freshman class has dropped by 18 points. University officials state they are disappointed by the development, but they cite record-high numbers of recruits from Texas and Oklahoma.

June 2022
Billy Joe Sanders records a 1.9 GPA for the spring semester. The University agrees to give him another chance if he can pass three summer classes. Noble agrees to overload his summer classes in Health 101 and Coaching 113.

September 2022
Without notice, prices for the Dobbs Center meal plan are increased 30 percent. Food service vendor Aramark says food consumption has gone through the roof in the early weeks of the school year, and they risk losing thousands of dollars. “All I can say,” says one Aramark spokes-person, “is there sure seem to be a lot more 300-pounders around here than I remember before.”

October 2022
The Wheel uncovers a shocking development when it turns out that Tricon is the parent corporation of Pepsi-Cola. Emory reluctantly acknowledges that the move is a violation of the $400 million Woodruff gift and is forced to give up all shares of Coca-Cola stock. The Board of Trustees votes to impose a 100-year moratorium on Div. I football … and to accept the letter of resignation from the COE chair.


Back to Emory Report Oct. 23, 2000