As we get ready for a day of parades and collegiate football, this might be a good time to reflect on the real cost of all this frivolity.
Brad Flory, a local newspaper fixture, had a recent column where he points out that going Bowling is largely a money losing proposition for colleges. Brad is a pretty credible guy, so I do not doubt that these bowls can end up costing colleges money for their teams to participate.
This is another story of having too much of a good thing. We went from having a handful of bowls presenting a few high caliber teams to having 35 "bowls" that include teams with losing records.
Collegiate football programs generally make money over the course of a season. In fact, they make enough to significantly subsidize other sports in many programs.
But does it really make any sense to spend some of those profits to send a team with a losing record to a bowl that the fans will not attend? Much less watch?
Does anyone know about the New Era Pinstripe Bowl? Does anyone really care?
This development seems to be yet another sign of the times where everyone gets a trophy for participating. It is also another sign of excess marketing. In the process, we have diluted the accomplishment of a truly high caliber team making a bowl appearance while simultaneously lining the pockets of those that promote this excessive number of events at the expense of students.
Brad closes his column with:
Sanity demands this must stop. At minimum, public universities should take a stand by refusing to participate if their money must guarantee ticket sales to marginal games.Brad hasn't been paying much attention to Washington D.C. lately...
Football coaches and bowl promoters may not like that stand, but it is simple financial prudence. We still demand that from public institutions, don’t we?