According to Grambling’s Athletic Director Percy Caldwell, there are numerous reasons why Grambling State (0-2) scheduled TCU (1-0) as the second game on its schedule.
In spite of a one-sided 56-0 loss to the Horned Frogs on Saturday night, GSU gained a chance to measure its football team up with one of the best in the country, tons of exposure by playing a nationally televised game, and a guaranteed check worth $400,000.
Caldwell disrelishes the notion of getting embarrassed on national television for a few dollars, but he does fathom the university’s intent from a financial standpoint. Caldwell said the finances collected from the game will go toward helping balance the university’s athletic program budget of $6.1 million.
“Anytime you are blown out in a ball game it’s not a good thing, but when you think about the intent and purpose for scheduling the game, you’ll understand that in Grambling’s case we had our budget cut,” said Caldwell.
Over the past three years, the total state appropriations for Grambling State have been drastically reduced from $32.4 million to about $18.6 million.
The $400,000 received will go towards coach’s salaries, scholarships, equipment, uniforms, insurance and all the other necessities that consist of the athletic budget.
GSU wasn’t the only program to schedule a top school for monetary value. In its first two games this season, Savannah State has been outscored 139-0 but also has received payments totaling $860,000.
In Savannah State’s season opener, they were thrashed by the then No.19 Oklahoma 84-0 for a $385,000 cash exchange. In the following week, Savannah State earned $450,000 as a result of getting dismantled by Florida State 55-0.
Due to the lack of competitiveness, Caldwell feels hopeless about future opportunities for small schools to play major universities in hopes of gaining financial support.
“I’m afraid for HBCUs and other small colleges who play these Division I schools; these games may be on their way out,” said Caldwell.
While this method of playing for monetary value is still relevant, Caldwell is taking full advantage. Already, he and the University of Colorado are negotiating a deal to compete in 2015 that’s worth between $600,000- $700,000.