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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 9:05 pm 
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This thread is for updates on the potential downgrading of bottom rung Division I-A teams based on poor attendance or other issues. Hopefully, as soon as this weekend's games are over, someone can post this year's attendance numbers and comment on which teams are in trouble and so on.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 9:25 pm 
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the new rules will force mid-majors to realign in order to bring in extra home games (sbc & mwc play 3 home conference opponents every other year). it will mean the end of welfare for mid-majors as well -- a lot fewer six-figure payouts for playing nebraska in lincoln, a lot more home & homes with northern illinois. and the loss of that revenue will be what ultimately destroys the sbc and other lower-rung 1-a schools. the ncaa knew it was setting off a domino effect with its ruling. it's not that teams won't meet the requirements (most will), it's that in doing so they will lose big money and choose to relegate themselves to 1-aa, rather than be forced.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 8:18 pm 
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Sbro,
I hope you are right. :) Way back when D1AA got started, the NCAA hoped that D1's would downgrade to 1AA. Instead, most of 1AA were D2's moving up. They needed tougher standards. If they toughened up the standards for D1AA now, most 1AA would try to meet them, and that would make the jump to 1A easier.

However, I have come up with two ideas that might help, if implemented.

1. D1 FB programs must break even or better. There are reports that as much as 1/3 of D1A programs are operating in the red! FB is probably paying for itself, but the 200 scholarship rule is expensive. One third of 117 comes to 39. 117 - 39 = 78 You would now have a manageable league that would only need 7 or 8 conferences. A playoff would be easier, and the BCS could be made to work.

2. More drastic is requiring teams to win an average of 25% over a rolling 10 yr period. This is aimed a legacy programs in BCS conferences that make their budgets by living on the good teams largese. Why should a Vandy or Temple get BCS money when they are not as good as some CUSA teams that don't? ???

Obviously, the second rule would be harder to get passed than the first. If the 1/3 in the red applies to teams not making expenses in FB, then not counting conference money beyond what the team contributed would work. If anyone knows for sure, please post.

FBfan


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 9:48 pm 
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division 1-a fotball is supposed to fund the rest of the athletic budget. most schools receive no funds from the school and have to break even to afford the womens' scholarships under title 9. basketball helps too, with ncaa and conference tournament money making most of the teams profitable. i don't know about 1/3 of football programs being in the red, but i do know that almost half the division 1-a athletic budgets overall are in the red. football makes money, but not enough to cover the 85 additional womens' scholarships that have to be offered under title 9.

your point #1 will take care of itself. state schools especially will stop subsidizing their athletic departments and suggest a drop to division 1-aa or dropping football altogether. many of the uc and cal state programs have already gone that way -- santa barbara and northridge recently. those are huge schools with huge enrollment, but the numbers never added up. and without the 300-500,000 payouts by the big boys to subsidize them, i think you will see 10-12 schools drop to 1-aa in the next 10 years.

i disagree with solution #2, though. first, the more rules you have, the more people will cheat. if a team knows it needs 7 wins in the next 2 years to maintain its status, you will find all kinds of criminal activity to lure players to programs. the pressure in the sec is such that just about every team has been on probation in the last 10 years, some of them twice. i'd hate to think what mississippi state would do to remain in the sec. non-qualifying juco players, convicted felons, etc.

and the other unintended effect is it would force conferences to contract. the bottom teams in each league (duke, baylor, rutgers) would move to smaller conferences to avoid being relegated. that, in turn, would put pressure on the next-to-last place teams (wake forest, missouri, syracuse) to either move or cheat. and so on until you end up with a bunch of twelve 8-team conferences, rather than eight 12-team conferences. it's a lot easier to win 25% of your games in a small conference than it is in a large one.

instead, why not institute a rule that your conference bowl share depends on your placement in the conference? right now, each conference gets a "travel allowance" from its conference of between $500,000 and $1.2 million. any leftover money is funneled into a pool and split evenly. so ohio state will not actually receive any more bowl money than northwestern -- they will only receive enough to cover costs.

instead, i propose that each team gets to keep 50% of its bowl payout, regardless of expenses. the remaining 50% is divided among the conference members. so ohio state gets to keep about 6.75 million, with the remaining 6.75 million is divided evenly. penn state keeps a little over a million, and so on. northwestern will receive a dwindling share of funds. they'll start taking football seriously when they see their welfare checks cut by 50% or more.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 5:00 pm 
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sbro,

I really like your idea about taking home a cut of the bowl payouts. One thing though, won't it hurt conferences like the Big 10 if they want to attract a 12th member? Maybe ND doesn't have much to fear, but a team like Missouri that might struggle to reach .500 the first year might be hesitant to move to (or even remain in) a quality conference without some assurance that they'll get an equal share of the conference bowl proceeds. It'll also tick off some of the basketball schools that bring in money on the court but not on the field.

How about the bowl team still getting a cut but pro-rated based on the % of money that particular school brought into the conference from its bowl bid? It's fair, it's definitely an incentive to succeed, but it's not such a drastic loss to the conference's total pool.

You could also stagger some negative incentives among the non-bowl teams. I don't know if it would be worth it to have each team take a progressively smaller share, that might actually mitigate the hit too much. How about only the last place team getting the smallest cut? None of the cellar dwellars would get a bonus, but the team finishing dead last would actually take a negative hit. I think that way you'd have some realistic performance expectation for the weaker teams--they'd have to make a serious effort to at least beat each other.

Another idea would be a bowl for academic qualifiers with a winning record based on a formula similar to the BCS, using gpa and graduation rate as a gate keeper. As long as the on the field standards weren't too high, you might see more effort to improve out of teams like Baylor, Duke, and Vandy. You've already got a few teams like Stanford, Wake, and Air Force that would qualify most years. It wouldn't be a huge success, but I think the ratings would be at least as high as the lower tier bowls. This would give the schools with tougher standards something to shoot for that's not too unrealistic. Going .500 or just over is much more realistic than finishing 8-4 in the SEC. We already have crappy teams in bowl games anyway. I'd rather see a 6-5 cinderella Navy team play its heart out than a 6-5 Big 12 team laying an egg. With more realistic post season aspirations, some of these schools might play that much harder instead of tanking the last several games of the season. If enough teams could at least reach .500, a 4 team playoff would really fire them up. I don't think you'd see nearly as many 0-12 Duke or Vandy teams. Everybody would benefit, and the conferences would get a little extra cash from their (previously whiny) "academics-first" members.

One other thought, why don't the non-BCS conferences use Title IX as a basis for pushing for inclusion into the BCS, or better yet, for creation of a playoff system with an automatic berth for their conference champ?Admittedly, someone like the MWC would have to grab some solid performers like Fresno and Boise to beef up, but they've got a decent beef that they are getting shafted by the BCS no matter how much their conferences improve, and that cuts off a potential source of funds for men and womens sports. Not a perfect argument, but it might scare some of the BCS conferences if some of the special interest groups take it up as a cause in the press. One more reason to seriously explore the incredible revenue a playoff system would generate. Heck, I'd even watch the football equivalent of the NIT.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2003 9:19 pm 
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accnole2, you have some interesting ideas that should be looked into further. i'll address them one by one, if it's not too tedious:

1) declining share of bowl profits. you actually suggested the same thing i did -- a team getting a cut based on what it brought in. i might have been unclear about the particulars of the plan, but here's how it goes:

right now, a conference like the big ten earns 33 million from bowls (give or take). let's say that it gives a travel allowance of 9 million to its seven bowl teams, leaving 24 million to be divided evenly by the 11 member schools. under my plan, the bowl teams would keep a greater share of the bowl earnings, maybe not 50% but 25-33%. say it leaves only 15 million to be shared among the 11 schools. so instead of every team getting 2.2 million, each team gets only 1.4 million. the rest of that money is a reward for performance, rather than a reward for being in the conference.

it's similar to basketball, where teams get to keep a share of their ncaa tournament shares, which are based on performance in the tournament (you get more the longer you last). granted there is a lot less money at stake, but there is still a distinction among teams that performed and those that did not.

i'm not suggesting cutting anyone off, but under the current system illinois made more money for its athletic department than minnesota did, despite finishing with a lower record and not qualifying for a bowl.

2) or we could go with your suggestion of diminishing shares based on conference finish. they do that in major league baseball with playoff shares, where teams that did not qualify still receive a pittance based on the standings in their division.

3) i don't know how the academic bowl would work, but i like the idea. keep in mind, though, that every team with 6 wins went to a bowl except for texas a&m, south florida and a few teams from the mac. there's no one left to exclude.

4) the title ix argument is actually stronger than you think, but the big boys have problems of their own with title ix. that's why you will likely see at least one and possibly three more playoff games beginning in 2006 -- to generate more revenue for the athletic departments which have to divert funds to non-revenue producing womens' sports and scholarships. and that system will no more include the mwc and usa than the current one.

we would be talking about a different kind of lawsuit here. when the requirements for a mwc team are more stringent than those for an acc team (florida, or syracuse many years back), you have a possibility. but whom do you sue? the bcs is not affiliated with the ncaa in any way. it's a committee of the big six conferences, which have the right to create whatever kind of championship they want. i would LOVE to see a play-in of some sort, be it the liberty bowl or something else, but i have no idea how that would work. the money is on the power conference's side.

solid points.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 11:52 am 
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Not tedious at all, I'm just glad I made some sense. Sorry for not picking up on your bowl profit scheme the first time. I also didn't realize that there was a similar system in place for hoops already. That makes me even less sympathetic for Duke. Why the heck should they get an equal cut of FSU's BCS earnings when they get a higher cut of their basketball earnings based on performance? That's ridiculous.


I think you'd have to wage a war in the press the way Martha Burke (not that I agree with her) is waging war against the Masters. There's always the hint of legal action, and that definitely gets attention, even if she could be flattenned in court. Sooner or later I think the non-BCS schools could push the BCS into some performance-based accomodation and you'd never have to go to court, assuming you even bring a case against the BCS schools. They wouldn't get a guaranteed berth, but by performing in the regular season against the BCS teams, they might be able to prove they belong. I think that's a realistic goal for these guys. If one of their teams wins a conference championship, is ranked high enough, and if they beat a minimum # of BCS opponents, then they can qualify, even if its only at the #8 spot. It's not equal access, but I think a proven ability to perform at the BCS level is a fair trade for the opportunity for a big pay day. It'd be hard for the MWC or C-USA champ to argue against that. It's not like they're gonna play Oklahoma, Miami, and Ohio State anyway.

Good question about who to sue. Maybe some sort of racketeering angle against the BCS 6, maybe pushing the proper public official to take action? After that, I guess some sort of Constitutional argument. You'd definitely have to get creative. It's not like the media covers legal matters very well. When the Supreme Court declines to grant cert. its often reported as "the Supreme Court decided . . ." I think as long as you could make a stink that some folks in the press would perceive as a fairly big story, you'd get what you want. It wouldn't really matter that legally you're dead in the water to begin with.

You're so right about the academic bowl. Unless you went to 5 wins or less, you'd have only had two qualifiers this year, Wake and Air Force, and they already had a bowl lined up. Well, maybe some conference shifts in the future will make some sort of new basketball/academics conference a possibility.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 1:27 pm 
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Does anyone know a website that has a list of which schools lost money on their sports program in 2002?

FBfan


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 10:32 pm 
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i don't know of a web site (just went looking for one), but i do know that more than half of division 1-a athletic departments have budget deficits, according to figures cited by southern miss's ad. i heard on sporting news radio that about 20% of football programs are not profitable, and since it is football, and to a lesser degree men's basketball, that funds most of the athletic budget, those schools must be in serious deficit.

i do know that MOST acc schools run a profit, thanks to basketball and the bcs; and that notre dame and usc also run low-to-mid 7-digit profits. schools from smaller conferences like idaho, southern miss and the entire mac (including marshall), are in the red.

good luck finding a site.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 10:34 pm 
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and minnesota ran a 21 million deficit this year, believe it or not.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2003 11:25 pm 
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Actually Sbro Southern Miss has made a profit or atleast broke even the last few years. Trust me the college board in Mississippi will not allow Southern Miss to retain 1-A status without being self-sufficent. I will ask around on our board to see the exact figures, but i remember a article a few years ago where the AD said we keep ourself afloat.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 9:27 am 
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Sbro,

Thanks for the posts. If 20% are not making money on FB, they should go to 1AA. 1A should have a rule stating that teams MUST break even in FB. I would vote for a rule saying 1A must average break even or better in the AD. If things are as bad as you suggest, there will be MAJOR realignment. A playoff would be easy if you get below 96 teams. (ie 8 coonferences of 12 teams)

Perhaps a new 1AA with more schlorships than the current system, but less than 1A. I suggest 40-50 with no minimum in other sports.

Also, petition Congress to change rule to say Title IX should be enforced on spending beyond what the sport takes in. 1AA FB would pay for itself at this lower level, and have some left over for non revenue sports.

I also like your idea of reduced payout. How about a teams share equaling their % of the total number of wins for the conference? This would only be instituted if there is a push to reward/penalize based on graduation. ;)

Cyc46,

I hope So. Miss makes it!



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 2:00 pm 
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cyc46,

Is there a lot of resentment for So Miss from the Ole Miss crowd? Just curious why the legislature is so willing to let them drop down if they aren't self sufficient. Reminds me of the rift between Bama and UAB. Sounds like So Miss has enough local interest to stay afloat though. I doubt that UAB does.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2003 3:47 pm 
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Here's a reform I'd love to see:

Conferences with more members getting more bowls tie-ins, than conferences with less members.
To an extent, this exists already, but in reality, this is does not exist. The MAC currently has 14 members. Want to know how many bowl tie-ins the MAC has? Try two. Is this fair? I don't think so.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2003 9:58 am 
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It's a popular belief amongst non-BCS folk that the new NCAA standards are in place to hinder the migration of teams moving from I-AA to I-A, as opposed to reversing the flow. I've read on more than one occasion that I-AA officials played a large role in bringing the new standards to life. They've been losing teams the past decade, and relatively fast.

Those schools near or under the 15k mark understand the importance of increasing their attendance, but at the same time, there isn't a countdown clock on the AD's desk ticking down to doomsday in 2004. Why not? It took forever and a day just to get these standards passed. To the best of my knowledge, the NCAA has not lifted a finger in figuring out how to enforce these new standards. The NCAA's seeming lack of interest in this area lends support to the idea the NCAA wanted to stop the flow, not necessarily reverse it. Is there a probation period? How long? What are the details?

What do I think of all this? I believe the above argument holds water, but I wouldn't sleep well at night if my school was bringing in 8k per season. I think there are a handful of I-A teams that will not meet the new standards, no matter how much time you give them. Unless the rules change, they will have to move to I-AA in football. I do NOT think there will be a non-BCS apocalypse, as another poster alluded.

I-AA teams that have their eyes set on I-A, such as FAU and FIU, now have a larger obstacle to cross, but it's not impassable. If they have the support and commitment....

IMHO, the MAC will lose teams, but the conference will move on, as it always has (maybe w/o a chmpshp game). Actually, even if the MAC loses its championship game, the loss of a couple cellar dwellers would HELP the conference. As for the Sunbelt, well...no one there seems to be sweating bullets yet, but they know there's work to be done if they're going to continue to sponsor SBC I-A Football. They've made moves in the recent past to help their position, but will it be enough? I have my doubts, but I also haven't written them off yet.


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