BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) -Lamar students have approved a fee that would help fund the return of a football program dormant since 1989.
Football would return in 2010 if the Texas State University System Board of Regents approves the plan at a meeting on Feb. 22. With board approval, the school said it would start renovating Cardinal Stadium and looking for a head coach.
The Cardinals would return to the Southland Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision, known as Division I-AA the last time they played.
Brian Sattler, Lamar's director of public relations, said 17,150-seat Cardinal Stadium still hosts high school games but needs upgrades. If football returns, the school plans to address Title IX concerns by adding softball and one other sport for women, he said.
``We've looked at all the scenarios and crunched the numbers,'' Sattler said. ``If the board says yes, we plan to move forward.''
Approved by 79 percent of the 1,294 students who voted Tuesday and Wednesday, the measure calls for fees of $8.75 per credit hour in the fall and spring semesters and $4.50 per credit hour in the summer. The fees would start in the fall of 2009.
All students who pay the fee before the scheduled return of football would be eligible for free tickets through 2013.
Lamar had a 171-225-9 record in 39 seasons as a four-year school, most notably beating Baylor 18-17 in the 1981 season opener, a year after the Bears went 10-2 and won the Southwest Conference.
Lamar played junior college football on and off for 20 seasons from 1923-50.

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