CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - In a nine-to-four decision on Thursday, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education voted against fully funding Coastal Carolina University's latest project proposal for the expansion of Brooks Stadium.
Early Thursday afternoon, Matt Hogue, the director of athletics for CCU, knew the meeting would go one of two ways. The way it went, the proposed budget for the expansion was cut from $38 million to $29.9 million.
"That's not a disaster by any stretch. We'll just move to the next step and find what that final solution is," Hogue said. "Any time you go into something like this, you're always planning for contingencies, you're always preparing for any possible situation so you'll be ready if there is a chink in the armor or a twist in the road."
Hogue went into the meeting confident the commission would see the importance of the expansion.
"Obviously, it's a big step and certainly this project - for what it means to not only our move to the Sunbelt conference and our move up to FBS - it's crucial," he said "It's the life blood of allowing us what we need to do at that level."
Hogue added this is much more than just construction or stadium expansion. He called it a, "transformative item for the university."
"This is about expanding our brand. This is about making us bigger globally and nationally," Hogue said. "When that happens, our community becomes more known globally and nationally. We really feel like we're a portal to that."
Javon Jackson, a sophomore at CCU, believed the school should be taking the risk to expand Brooks Stadium.
"It's definitely a confidence booster for the team and the fans as well, to see your team doing well enough to go up in division or play against top ranked teams," Jackson said. "It definitely makes you want to support them and be a part of something that's a lot bigger than you."
WMBF News reached out to the Athletic Director after the meeting for the next step in the project plans and is still waiting for a reply.