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Thread: Western Kentucky could be headed to I-A football

  1. UL Football I-A football could be coming for Western Kentucky

    Ransdell says new BCS revenue might make move possible


    In an interesting move, the Sun Belt Conference presidents selected Western Kentucky President Gary Ransdell to represent the league in talks concerning the distribution of possible football money.

    The Bowl Championship Series, which previously included only the top six Division I-A leagues, recently adopted a new formula which would give the five lower-tier conferences a piece of the multimillion dollar pie.

    The six original BCS members the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Big East and the PAC 10 will each get one share (about 9 percent) of the total revenue created by the various bowl games. The other five conferences Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference, the Western Athletic Conference, the Mid-American Conference and the Sun Belt will each split one share evenly.

    "This is not some huge windfall," Ransdell said. "This might mean a few hundred thousand dollars to a Sun Belt school rather than a few million dollars to a BCS school."

    About 85 percent of the BCS money comes from the television contract with ABC, while the remaining 15 percent is generated by ticket sales and other forms of revenue.

    Another recent decision made it easier for a school from the bottom five leagues to earn a berth in one of the four BCS bowls. Under the current rules, the lower five leagues would have had three members in a BCS game in the past five years Tulane in 1998, TCU in 2002 and Miami of Ohio last year.

    "Because of that, you have to think that those five leagues would have a shot," Ransdell said.

    That's where Ransdell comes into play.

    If the bottom five conferences get a school into one of the BCS bowls, they would get an additional share of the total revenue.

    It's not yet been decided how that final share would be divided up, but Ransdell will represent the Sun Belt in a coalition of presidents from the five leagues.

    "Conference USA and the Mountain West will probably be fighting for a winner-take-all type of situation," Ransdell said. "It'll be an interesting negotiation when that comes up in the months ahead.

    "The league of the school that gets into the BCS game will get a larger percentage. It won't be 100 percent that's where the negotiation comes in."

    On the surface, WKU has nothing to gain because it does not currently play Division I-A football.

    "Why would they put me on that coalition when the only issue is football?," Ransdell said. "I think that the (SBC) presidents feel that I have the most to gain by fighting for the best possible share of additional revenue, because the Sun Belt is pressing Western to join in all sports."

    That additional revenue, Ransdell said, could be enough to get Western Kentucky to make the jump to Division I-A.

    "We have declined up to now until the revenue variables are clear and those variables reduce our loss margin as a I-AA participant," Ransdell said. "In other words, we currently bring in a few hundred thousand in football and we spend $1.7 or $1.8 million. We lose over $1 million a year on football."

    The extra money Western Kentucky stands to gain could significantly reduce the Hilltoppers' football deficit.

    The rest of the story



    By OJ Stapleton, ojstapleton@bgdailynews.com -- 270-783-3239

    Friday, June 18, 2004

  2. #2
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    One thing that I noticed when Wright Waters was commenting about the new member is that he would always say something like "We are considering ULM among with some other options." This type of comment was also said by a few of the ADs. I wonder if this could be one of those "other options?" Perhaps we are in for a surprise? This situation would work very well for both parties.


  3. #3
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    I wonder if this could be one of those "other options?"

    Man I hope so! It would be better than being terminally joined with those savages in the north.


  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Crawfish
    I wonder if this could be one of those "other options?"

    Man I hope so! It would be better than being terminally joined with those savages in the north.
    It would appear so, still if WKU joins the Sunbelt as a full time member, I don't expect the school that exists by threat of ULtiMatum to be kicked out.

  5. #5
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    I agree Turbine. ULM won't be kicked out of this conference. We need as many schools as we can right now.

    But from the way things look right now at ULM, I really see no reason for us to add them as an all conference member right now. Truth is, we only want them for football stability. We have that because they are football-only members. Why would we want to add ULM to all our other stable sports?


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    "Why would we want to add ULM to all our other stable sports?"

    You have to have eight full time members. I think the Sunbelt has nine for the next year. Then it drops to seven, so it needs one more full time member. I sure hope newscopy found something. I would rather Western Kentucky over UL-Monroe


  7. #7
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    Chuck, Im pretty sure that we just needed 8 football-only members, not 8 full-time members. When you add in Denver, WKU, UNO, UALR, etc. we have more than enough full-time members. Just because a school doesn't sponsor football doesn't mean it isn't a full time member. Right?

    And I do hope that another school besides ULM is chosen. Don't get me wrong, their fans are class acts and I have nothing against the school, but they have a lot of work to do before they will look attractive to anyone.


  8. #8
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    Acctually it is true, you need 8 fulltime members who sponser football to be considered a 1A conference.

    Tuffguy


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