This conference for rent

There’s a lot that sucks in the realignment shuffle we’re watching, but if this comes to fruition, everything else pales in comparison:

FedEx CEO Fred Smith has spoken to various conference officials and made it known that his Memphis-based company could provide millions of dollars — perhaps as much as $10 million annually — to a BCS-affiliated league willing to offer an invitation to the University of Memphis, multiple sources close to the Memphis program have told CBSSports.com.

“It could be $10 million every year for a conference to use however it sees fit,” said one of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “When you think of the big picture, it could be the equivalent of a five-year, $50 million contract or a 10-year, $100-million contract. Fred is talking about a massive amount of money.”

Though almost anything imaginable remains a possibility, the most likely scenario in this ongoing expansion frenzy, according to multiple sources, is for Memphis to receive an invitation from the Big East soon or after some of the Big East’s current members move to the Big Ten. But, a source said, “it’s hard to tell how this is going to shake out.”

It’s enough to make you switch to UPS.

The sad thing is that if this actually goes down, some pundit out there will hail it as a bold new business model for college athletics.

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10 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

10 responses to “This conference for rent

  1. watcher16

    And what does FedEx get out of this? What do their shareholders get out of this?

  2. Pingback: The Big East by FedEx: Leather Helmet Blog

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    It’s like a dowry for an ugly girl. Of course FedEx will mention later that it gets free advertising time for the duration of the contract.

  4. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Yeah, we have finally gotten to out and out bribery in college football. This is what happens when “the market” is allowed to decide what happens in athletics. Sportsmanship and competition go completely out the window. The way things have been going in college football something like this was guaranteed to happen sooner or later.

  5. Will

    Yeah, I imagine this has to coincide with some sort of marketing deal, or if I was a FedEx shareholder, I’d be rabid.

  6. SEC should get TAM to the West, and Memphis to the East, then have FEDEX sponsor the Cocktail Party with GA and FL getting a bigger share of the FEDEX funds.

  7. That is what you call FREE Enterprise.

  8. Having Memphis will likely weaken the recruiting base of Tennessee as a plus for GA.

  9. At first, I read this and thought “disgusting.”

    But the idea of Memphis in the east is kinda nice. Gives Vandy someone to beat, and further corrodes Tenn’s recruiting base (they’d probably never go for it).

    This will never happen, but now I kinda like it.

  10. Does this mean I have to put up money for Georgia Perimeter College??? and does GPC even have an athletics program?