SBD/May 17, 2017/Colleges

Liberty Paying Old Dominion An Eye-Popping $1.32M To Play In '18 Football Home Opener

Liberty Univ. will pay Old Dominion an "eye-popping" $1.32M to play in its '18 football home opener, proving Liberty is "willing to open" its checkbook for the program, according to Harry Minium of the Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT. Liberty AD Ian McCaw said that the school could afford to pay that much only because it signed a guarantee game in '18 with a Power Five school "that is upwards of seven figures." He said that guarantee "essentially will be forwarded to ODU." McCaw would "not identify" the Power Five school, but Liberty also is playing at Auburn and Virginia in '18. Minium noted Liberty "received approval from the NCAA just three months ago" to move up to FBS. But it is "unprecedented for a mid-major school to pay a guarantee of that size, one on par with payouts made" by elite Power Five schools for home games "against mid-majors such as ODU." It will be "by far the most" ODU has been paid for a guarantee game. Meanwhile, Norfolk State AD Marty Miller said that the school "will be paid $300,000 for playing at Liberty" two weeks after ODU visits. NCAA rules require Liberty to "play at least" three FBS home games in '18, and they will have four: ODU, North Texas, Troy and New Mexico State. President Trump "announced Liberty’s future schedules" while giving the commencement address at the school’s graduation last Saturday. Liberty has also signed future home games with Wake Forest, Army, Virginia and BYU and will play Ole Miss, Rutgers and Auburn on the road (Norfolk VIRGINIAN-PILOT, 5/16).
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