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There's an extensive article in the March 4 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education about turmoil in college football's 1A and 1AA ranks.


One of the key qualifiers for 1A status has been the requirement for an average attendance of 15,000. 16 1A schools missed the standard for at least one in the last four years. Among them is University at Buffalo, where 2001-4 average attendance has been 13,513, with a low seasonal average of 12,251.


The NCAA's D-1 governing board is now backing away from this qualifier. Coincidentally two of the board members represent schools that seem to be having trouble with the attendance facotr: Kent State and Middle Tennessee.


There's lots of other discussion in the article about 1A and 1AA status, and tweaks and revisions that might be proposed. There seems little enthusiasm for the NCCA forcing colleges to drop down from 1A to 1AA. One more radicial departure is to do away with the 1A and 1AA classificaiton altogether, and instead have colleges or conferences elect to pariticipate in either the BCS system or a lower-profile playoff (essentially what 1AA is now). Kind of a converse of that is to get the NCAA to spend more money on the 1AA playoffs.


According to the article the current 16 team 1AA playoff system pays nothing to particiipating colleges, while 1A bowl games provide a minimum of $750,000 to participating institutions.


Its kind of interesting stuff when set against UAlbany's football aspirations and things like stadium plans.

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while 1A bowl games provide a minimum of $750,000 to participating institutions.



Don't get it twisted, though: big schools spend about a million on costs going to the game alone. Unless you're winning national titles, you're losing money on bowl games.


There was a good article on ESPN.com during bowl season by their business writer, Darren Rovell. He said that even Oklahoma lost money on expenses for the bowl games, but they made it back in booster revenue and apparel sales. Their operating costs weren't offset by the bowl payout, but they looked at it like an investment since the boosters level of giving was almost directly in relation to how far the team got in terms of a bowl game or national championship.


The NCAA is all screwed up. What they do in the "non-revenue" sports is awful. Instead of making schools step up to the plate and make a financial commitment to the I-A level, instead they have dumbed down the system to appease the lower-budget schools. For example, baseball can only have an equivalent of 11.7 scholarships. At one time it was 24, then 18, and now this debacle. So, basically, they lowered the playing field so that schools who can't commit to 24 would then only commit to 18, then more schools went D-I and the average kept going lower and lower to the point where they said ok 11.7.


It's horrendous: if you want to run with the big dogs, put the money where your mouth is. Raise that back up to at least 18 for baseball, and do the same for any other non-revenue sport. If you can't pay it, drop down a level. 327 D-I schools is just ludicris.

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This must be the start of a new relationship; Again, I seem to agree with D2k. Having schools like Belmont, High Point, and Savanah State in DI is deplorable. They are ok in one two sports...but the rest suck. No commitment, NO DI. If needed, UA would spend more $$.


That article, BTW, was great...I remember my roommate and I reading it and were shocked to see the $$$ breakdowns.

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