Saturday, July 25, 2009

Scheduling Woes

Along with other outlets, WDSU is reporting that the 2010 home game between Tulane and LSU will be replaced with North Carolina playing LSU in Atlanta.

It might be much ado about nothing- but many Tulane people are agog. Frankly, a year is an eternity in football terms. LSU has three other out of conference dates to fill- and a future decade to switch games around in- pay if forward, as it were. If Tulane wants the game so bad, a new date can be arranged. It is not like anything 2010 C-USA schedule is set in stone.

People overestimate the rancor between these institutions. There are what, 119 Division I-A schools- maybe 40 in or near the cotton South. Figure there are five senior athletic department officials per school (if that many)- and you’re talking some 200-250 professionals.

I mean, my high school graduating class had more folks than that. These people all know each other- and while they support their institutions first and foremost, they are not looking to be uncooperative either. They’re all looking for their next job, keeping the lines open. Promotion paths are very narrow at one school- and really not that broad across the industry- so your rep and favor delivered in the past matter. You don’t think there isn’t a goodly amount of aspiration in the Tulane athletic department to go to a BCS program. Guys like Kenny Berthelot did not end up with cushy run out the clock jobs at Nicholls by being incorrigible- but by helping folks out when he can.

So, if Tulane can accommodate the Tigers, they will and they should.

And if LSU wants out that bad- they are going to get out. LSU is the draw in this situation and probably has the wherewithal to buy itself out. And they obviously look at this ten year home and home deal as a mistake. They just don’t ever seem to actually make it to New Orleans much. So I wouldn't surprise if they offered Tulane a chunk of cash to go away. The last time they played in New Orleans, the game sold 50K tickets- but I doubt Tulane got the revenue for more than half those seats- so I don't think Tulane is going to the wall over it. But again, LSU will look to accommodate Tulane. It is not war- but buisness. And again, they will and they should.

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