Milton Overton is optimistic about his new role as athletics director at Kennesaw State University.

“It’s an incredible opportunity,” said Overton, who brings more than 20 years of experience to the job.

“My goal is to build champions, lifelong champions,” he said. “Champions in the classroom, champions on the field and champions in life with academic integrity and excellence. So that will always be the mission.”

But Overton’s arrival comes after the controversial incident at a KSU football game, when school cheerleaders took a knee during the national anthem.

After the incident, the university said cheerleaders would not be permitted to take the field until after the national anthem is played.

But now, University President Sam Olens has reversed that decision, allowing them to be there.

“Anytime you’re going to have varying opinions you’re going to have conflict,” Overton said. “And so, I’m not going to get into the specifics of it, because this is a very crucial situation. And you have to be on the ground before you make an assessment.

“I have not been on the ground yet. This is day one.”

But he did say he understands all sides on the matter.

“I do believe very much in the right to speak. This is America. This is where we live. And I also believe in the military.”

Overton wants to use his experience to help the university move forward.

“That I can contribute in a way that allows both to heal. Because we have to make sure that we move together.”