On Monday, Shorter athletic director Bill Peterson released a proposal for a new event that would feature Shorter and Berry competing in four sports — cross country, volleyball, soccer and football — during the first weekend in September in 2014. (Berry will play its first season of football in 2013.)
Peterson sent his ideas about the event to Berry athletic director Todd Brooks, and forwarded the email to the Rome News-Tribune.
In the email, Peterson wrote that he and the Shorter staff had been “thinking of ways that our rivalry can be continued while at the same time helping each of us of meet our mutual goals.”
Later on Monday, Berry released an “Institutional response” to Peterson’s email.
The response said: “We just received the proposal this morning. We wish the Shorter Athletic Director had discussed it with us first before sharing it with others. Our commitment is to Division III and its distinctive blend of academics and non-scholarship athletics. We would be happy to consider the proposal if — in the future — Shorter choose to move to Division III.”
Along with the proposal, Peterson sent a potential itinerary of events for the Festival.
Peterson’s email said: “Our staff has developed a proposal that meets a number of NCAA Division II and Division III initiatives and allows our respective universities to create a unique event that will have a substantial impact on Rome’s economy and provide a significant windfall for a local charity.”
Peterson also said in the email: “I truly believe this idea has the potential to become the most significant sporting event in the history of this community. I also believe it will garner ample attention throughout the entire state of Georgia and even nationally.
“As envisioned, the Berry-Shorter Fall Festival is one weekend a year devoted to athletic events between our two institutions. ... This Festival (could) enhance the student-athlete experience, create more awareness for both our schools and our athletic programs, engage the community and foster a positive relationship between Berry and Shorter.”