Daily Archives: May 15, 2007

Rush to judgment

Whenever Rep. Rush schedules those blockbuster hearings on paying college players, do you think he’ll bother to factor this in?

Better than 90 percent of Division I athletic programs spend more than they earn, by an average of $7.1 million annually, according to figures released yesterday by NCAA researchers.

The statistics, for 2004-05, were included in a report urging the NCAA to standardize its procedures for collecting financial data, which was presented during a meeting of the Knight Commission, a college sports watchdog agency.

Only 22 of the 313 Division I athletic departments were self-supporting, the study noted. [Emphasis added.] The rest required bailouts, either direct subsidies from their institutions or student fees, to balance their books.

Naah, I don’t think so, either.


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It’s time for nine.

Nine conference games for SEC schools, that is.

Paul Westerdawg linked to a Paul Finebaum article ranking the SEC non-conference schedules. The rankings don’t interest me nearly as much as Finebaum’s overall sentiment that the fans are being cheated.

He’s right.

There are forty-eight out of conference games on the SEC’s slate in 2007 (four for each school, obviously). Finebaum uses a five star system to rate them, but for my purposes, it’s simpler to look at these games as falling into three categories.

  • Games against BCS conference opponents (14). Only three SEC schools play more than one game against this caliber of opponent – Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina. Florida State plays two SEC opponents.
  • Games against Conference USA “mid-major” schools (68). Conference USA isn’t a BCS conference, but it’s a conference that has a reasonable chance of having a school make it into the fifth BCS game, like Boise State in ’06 did. Tulane (not one of C-USA’s members that has a shot) plays two SEC schools.  [Corrected to add two games against Louisiana Tech, a proud member of the WAC.]
  • The remainder (2826). Directional schools, Sun Belt Conference schools, D 1-AA schools, “provisional” D-1 schools – they’re all lumped in here. Troy plays three SEC schools. Western Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette and Florida Atlantic appear on the schedules of two SEC teams. Some other names to get excited about include Gardner-Webb, Arkansas State, Tennessee Tech, Northwestern State, Richmond… you get the picture.

It’s time to limit the damage from this charade and add a ninth conference game to the schedule – another game rotating from the other division. With each SEC team averaging 2+ games a year against the third group, there’s plenty of slack to make this work. And while there may be a hit in the profits from losing a home game every other year, some of that would be made up by having a more attractive TV slate.

Most importantly, the fans deserve it.


UPDATE: “Chitlins” – another, similar view here.

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