Lamar University officials announced Thursday the student body has approved a special fee that will assist in funding the return of the Lamar Cardinal football program. Lamar students went to the polls on Jan. 29 and 30 and voted on the fee that will put the university one step closer to realizing the dream of reviving the program that was discontinued in 1989. A majority of 79% for and 21% against was the final tally to approve the fee and overcome the first hurdle in the quest for football.

“A football program on a university campus is a very important factor in enrollment management,” said Brian Sattler, director of public relations for Lamar. “With the leadership of President Simmons, academic offerings have increased; new facilities such as the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center, Cardinal Village Phase IV and the new dining hall have been constructed to enhance the campus learning and living environment, so it is a great time to work toward bringing college football back to the campus and Southeast Texas.”

With the affirmation from the students in hand, President Simmons is poised to seek approval from the Texas State University System Board of Regents at a meeting to be held on the Lamar University campus on February 22. Once approval from the Board is obtained, the LU Athletics Department will begin renovation of Cardinal Stadium and begin the search for a coach. Tentative plans have the Cardinals beginning Southland Conference play during the fall 2010 season.