Care to guess what NCAA rule they’re talking about? ($$)
“I don’t know if it’s doing what it was intended to do,” Bamford said.
“I think it should go away,” NIU athletic director Sean Frazier said.
“I don’t know if it fits in today’s world,” Kent State athletic director Joel Nielsen said.
Why, this one.
The NCAA requires an average attendance of 15,000 fans per game once every two years to maintain FBS status. But the reality is a number of programs don’t reach that mark, especially in an era in which attendance is falling across the board while the number of FBS schools has grown. Attendance has fallen in the FBS as a whole seven times in the past eight years, and it is currently at the lowest average mark since 1996, according to CBS Sports.
As a result, schools that have trouble reaching the 15,000 mark have to boost their numbers through artificial means.
As long as some one, or some thing, is buying tickets, they count against the 15,000 limit. Even if it’s sponsors through a sponsorship deal, or a distribution to local charities. Or this:
“I don’t think the rule has had any impact on people’s desirability to stay FBS,” Turner said. “They’ll find ways to do it. Oftentimes, it’s through things like having your media rights partner buy the tickets from you and they reduce their fee by the amount of money. That’s crazy. There’s no reason to do that, in my opinion. It’s just fiddling around with the books. It’s arbitrary. It has limited value.”
And yet, it still happens, because schools that don’t stay in compliance are supposed to be penalized by being relocated to FCS. And because the NCAA turns a willful blind eye to it — largely, I suspect, to maintain a decently sized pool of cupcakes for P5 schools to schedule.