Money Games. Money Games. Money Games.
Unfortunately, saying the phrase three times won’t make them go away. Almost 36 hours after three HBCUs (FAMU, BCU and Savannah State) made just under $2 million to get outscored 207-13, water coolers and message boards are still abuzz. Basically, there are two camps of thought when it comes to the type of games we saw this weekend. Those who see Money Games as a part of the business of college athletics, and those who think they are embarassing HBCUs.
Before we start this list, let me just say what we aren’t saying: We aren’t saying all HBCUs need to abandon ship and jump to Division II. Lord knows several Division II programs have financial and competitive issues of their own.
We aren’t here to knock anybody’s hustle, but getting broke off to get beat down has far more negative consequences than positive. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but ignoring the obvious definitely isn’t the solution.
Here are five reasons Money Games are NOT the answer.
1) Money Games are a short-term fix to a long-term problem.
Just as the programs that schedule these games don’t find themselves in these situations overnight, money games won’t cure their financial bottom-line long term. Savannah State received 375k for its services in a 77-7 loss to Miami. While that sum will no doubt be put to good use, it doesn’t take long to spend 375k when you factor in athletic scholarships, coaching salaries and travel expenses. Once that money is gone the programs that chronically depend on them will find themselves in the exact same position. It’s a vicious cycle that few have managed to get out of.
There it is! $1.75 million altogether for #FAMU #BethuneCookman and #SavannahSt #HBCU #MEAC @HBCUGameday pic.twitter.com/2FKYRkGDxS
– Sleeper Athletes (@SleeperAthletes) September 22, 2013
2) Money Games don’t make teams better
One of the big selling points why athletic administrations push for these games, in addition to the money, is the premise that playing better competition will improve the on-field product. That may be true when it comes to matchups against top FCS teams, like NC Central hosting Towson or Delaware State traveling to North Dakota State. But excuse my shortsightedness for failing to see how getting embarrassed on national television by a team that you would never meet in the postseason helps you improve.
Even the dream scenario of Appalachian State’s win over Michigan wasn’t as fairy-tale like as some would have you to believe. Appalachian State was coming off its second straight FCS championship and up against an overrated Michigan team. FAMU was picked to finish fifth in the MEAC, matched against a team in the running for the BCS national championship.