Big Payouts (With Drubbings to Come) in Football

August 30, 2018

Every fall some number of college football teams get on the field with bigger, faster teams representing wealthier sports programs, and the results are usually not pretty -- on the scoreboard and, sometimes, in the training room where injured players get treated after the beatings. (See these previous Inside Higher Ed articles on the phenomenon and whether the big payouts the losing teams receive in guaranteed payments are worth it.)

As the 2018 season kicks off, USA Today explores this year's slate of "guarantee" games and finds that $175 million will flow from high-profile teams (in search of victories in early-season tune-ups for their conference schedules) to teams from sports programs intent on closing major gaps in their budgets or trying to prove they belong in the upper tier of college football's Football Bowl Subdivision. The national newspaper notes that Kent State University will earn $3.65 million by playing three games against Big Ten and Southeastern Conference universities, and that Middle Tennessee State University's team will play games against three Southeastern Conference teams.

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