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Georgia Southern Eagles
The Georgia Southern Eagles are the athletic teams of Georgia Southern University. The Eagles compete in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) (formerly I-A) and are members of the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference. Prior to joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, the Eagles were members of the Trans America Athletic Conference (presently known as the Atlantic Sun Conference) and the Southern Conference. During their time at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS/1-AA) level, the Eagles won an unprecedented six national championships. Eagles is the third nickname of Georgia Southern University. From 1924 to 1941, the nickname was the Blue Tide. After World War II, athletic teams were referred to as the Professors, as the school was a teachers college. However, in 1959, when the school was renamed Georgia Southern College, a student vote was held to determine the new mascot. Eagles was chosen over Colonels by a narrow margin.
When the program was revived in 1982, the school did not have a large budget and coach Erk Russell ordered solid blue helmets and asked the players to put a white strip of tape down the middle. The uniforms consisted of plain white pants and blue jerseys without names. With the subsequent success of the Eagles, the basic simple design of the uniforms has remained the same. When the football team was started again in 1981, money was tight. In fact, there wasn't enough money to furnish transportation. The Bulloch County school system sold two buses for a dollar each to the team. The buses have been used by the team ever since as transportation to the Allen E. Paulson Stadium. It has become a rich tradition and many gather before the game to watch the arrival of the yellow school buses and the "Eagle Walk" procession by the team and coaches into the stadium.