SBD/July 10, 2013/Colleges

Big Ten Schools Paying Nearly $5M This Year To FCS Teams For Extra Home Games

Big Ten schools will pay nearly $5M this year "for the right to play FCS opponents at home," according to Jesse Temple of FOXSPORTSWISCONSIN.com. It will cost 10 of the 12 member schools a total of $4.9M to play one home game against an FCS team this season; Michigan and Penn State are the only teams that will not. Ohio State has "agreed to the largest guaranteed payout -- $900,000 -- to host a Sept. 21 game against Florida A&M."

BIG TEN PAYOUTS TO FCS SCHOOLS FOR EXTRA HOME GAMES DURING '13 SEASON
BIG TEN TEAM FCS TEAM DATE PAYOUT
Ohio State Florida A&M Sept. 21 $900,000
Michigan State Youngstown State Sept. 14 $650,000
Wisconsin Tennessee Tech Sept. 7 $500,000
Iowa Missouri State Sept. 7 $475,000
Indiana Indiana State Aug. 29 $450,000
Northwestern Maine Sept. 21 $450,000
Purdue Indiana State Sept. 7 $400,000
Nebraska South Dakota State Sept. 21 $395,000
Minnesota Western Illinois Sept. 14 $375,000
Illinois Southern Illinois Aug. 31 $350,000
       

PAY TO PLAY: OSU is "able to pay more to visiting nonconference teams because of the revenue it generates from ticket sales while playing in the fourth-largest stadium in the country." But all Big Ten teams earn "millions of dollars off an extra home game -- money that easily covers the cost of paying for an FCS opponent." Wisconsin Deputy AD Sean Frazier said that the school makes roughly $2.5M "on ticket sales alone for each non-conference home game." Temple noted the payouts to FCS schools go a "long way toward helping fund their athletic departments," but the "mutually beneficial relationship between Big Ten teams and FCS programs is nearing an unceremonious and contentious end." Big Ten ADs in April agreed to stop scheduling FCS schools beginning in '16. The decision allows for a ninth conference game that could "improve each school's strength of schedule," a key component of the new College Football Playoff. However, part of the "appeal of playing an FCS school, in addition to a potential victory, is that the contract costs substantially less money when compared to that with any FBS program." While Wisconsin will pay Tennessee Tech $500,000, it is giving UMass $900,000 and BYU $1M "for home games this season" (FOXSPORTSWISCONSIN.com, 7/8).

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