Daily Archives: May 10, 2008

What are they doing here, anyway?

I want to go back to this quote:

So that begs the question: if the resources aren’t there to solve the problem, and there are tons of empty seats at games, is that school meant to be Division I-A (er, the Football Bowl Subdivision)? I mean really. The NCAA has allowed so much expansion in I-A, and many of those universities are set up to fail. They’re allowed to average only 15,000 fans a game–and even if they don’t, it never gets to a sanction stage…

Sixteen D-1 football teams took an APR hit this year. Here’s the list, along with each program’s average attendance and national attendance ranking from last year:

  • Kansas – 46,784 (#49)
  • Washington State – 33,045 (#71)
  • UNLV – 29,281 (#80)
  • Temple – 28,859 (#81)
  • San Diego State – 27,940 (#82)
  • Central Michigan – 18,771 (#93)
  • Toledo – 18,668 (#94)
  • North Texas – 17,734 (#98 )
  • UAB – 16,706 (#102)
  • Akron – 15,978 (#108 )
  • Florida Atlantic – 15,741 (#109)
  • San Jose State – 15,465 (#110)
  • New Mexico State – 14,412 (#111)
  • Buffalo – 13,568 (#112)
  • Idaho – 11,479 (#116)
  • Florida International – 7,982 (#118 )

Notice a pattern there?

By the way, two more schools in the bottom 10 attendance figures, #119 Eastern Michigan and #117 Kent State, while not penalized, also failed to meet the APR standard of 925.

Of those 18 teams, three – Kansas, Central Michigan and Florida Atlantic – had winning records. Ten of the eighteen teams played more road games than home games last season. To put this in perspective, Georgia’s average game attendance (92,746) exceeded the total season attendance of nine of these schools.

These schools don’t draw. They have to play on the road to draw visitor checks to survive (two of these schools only played four home games). If we accept Dick Tomey’s argument, they lack the resources to provide their student athletes with sufficient academic support. So why are they playing D-1 football? Why do they want to play D-1 football?

College football fans like to complain about the proliferation of bowl games and what that means for promoting mediocre teams, attendance and TV ratings. Compared to this stuff, the PapaJohns.com Bowl comes off looking like a BCS game.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football