Savannah State to Collect Over $1,000,000 to Lose By 70+ Twice
This weekend the biggest spread in the history of college football will be placed on the lines when Florida State goes in a 70 point favorite to lofty MEAC team Savannah State. Just last weekend Savannah State lost 0-84 to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
While it is embarrassing to lose by that much two weeks in a row, the bigger controversy is that the team will collect over $1,000,000 to be the doormat two weeks in a row. A lot of other schools are upset about this but I think it is because they simply didn’t think to use this strategy to build up their program.
Yahoo! has the details:
“For being a small school, we have to develop a plan to sustain our athletic program as a whole,” Steward said by phone Thursday. “If the opportunity presented itself, we had to take that opportunity.”
Savannah State’s total endowment is $4.2 million. That’s it. So a $1 million payday (actually $860,000) for two games amounts to a quarter of the university’s total endowment and nearly half of the annual football budget. “I have friends at the bigger schools,” Steward says. “It’s unfathomable what their budgets are compared to mine.”
In that context, what the Tigers players are doing this month is incredible. If a group of several dozen students at any major school raised a quarter of their school’s endowment in the span of eight days, they’d be feted by President Obama at the Lincoln Center (or at least by Anderson Cooper on CNN Heroes). “The Savannah States of the world taking big payouts in overmatched games are obviously not new, and aren’t specific to black colleges,” says Lawrence Ross, author of The Divine Nine, a study of African-American fraternities and sororities. “But with HBCUs facing increasing threats to their funding, one million dollars is not something to sneeze at when looking to fund an athletic department.”
This is a strategy even my C-USA East Carolina Pirates use to a degree. They schedule teams like West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina every year knowing they have no chance to win because those games will undoubtedly be sellouts due to the geographic distance of the schools.
I think more and more teams outside the BCS will start to do this. It’s an easy way to get cash, and hey if you cannot beat them you may as well join them and make a million in the process.