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Financial realities put restrictions on Lamar schedule
Think the Texas A&M football team is coming to Beaumont to play Lamar?
It just wouldn’t make sense financially, said Lamar coach Ray Woodard.
On its best day last fall, the Lamar football team made more than $160,000 on its home game with Sam Houston State, according to records from the school obtained by The Enterprise.
Texas A&M, on the other hand, makes so much in a football season - $25 million in 2009, according to Forbes - that the school has agreed to pay Lamar more than double ($325,000) what the Cardinals make in a single game to play in College Station in 2014.
The days when Lamar could host a Big 12 school like Baylor, which came to Beaumont in 1980, are long gone. Even nowadays, Baylor can afford to pay $400,000 for Lamar to play in Waco in 2015.
Several local message board posters have said they think Lamar should attempt to host BCS conference schools.
“An FBS school is not going to come here,” said Woodard, whose job includes negotiating his team’s schedule. “It’s just not going to happen.
“These people on the Internet who think it’s going to happen, they’re living 30 years ago,” Woodard said. “I’m sorry. Why would Baylor pass up millions of dollars to come here? It’s just not going to happen. They need to let that go.”
In order to keep playing six home games a season, which helped Lamar earn $811,000 in profit last fall, the Cardinals have to regularly play lower-division schools such as Texas College and San Antonio-based Incarnate Word, two schools scheduled to play at Lamar in 2011. That’s because scheduling most FCS opponents would require Lamar to sign a home-and-home agreement, meaning one year they would play in Beaumont and then later they would travel to that team’s stadium.
The Cardinals can’t do that and keep six home games each year because, with seven Southland Conference opponents, every other year they have to play three home and four road conference games in an 11-game schedule.
“It’s hard to just buy an FCS game,” Woodard said.
Starting in 2012, Lamar will play at least one non-conference road game per season against an FBS school. The Cardinals currently have deals in place to play at Hawaii in 2012, at Oklahoma State in 2013, at Texas A&M in 2014 and at Baylor in 2015.
Lamar will receive at least $325,000 from the schools for three of those games. Against Hawaii, Lamar gets $125,000 plus full commercial airfare and three nights hotel accommodations. Few other road games are worth the cost for Lamar, considering the $140,000 the university spent for a chartered plane on each of two long-distance trips last year, according to multiple athletic department officials.
Most future seasons will include seven conference games, one road game against an FBS school and at least one game against a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) member.
By Christopher Dabe, Beaumont Enterprise
Read more: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/default/article/Financial-realities-put-restrictions-on-Lamar-1400584.php#ixzz1Nr5ZNtTz