Last week amid a release of run of the mill information, South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner announced the school would be paying $1.5 million to UMass to come play the Gamecocks in football this fall.
Why, in the era of strength of schedule, is a major college making a record payout to get a team to come play? Apparently because more teams are trying to get more paycheck games. Administrators are trying to schedule more one time home games, and the increased demand is driving up the price. UMass wouldn’t be able to command this much money if there weren’t several suitors for them.
In fact, UMass is going to play three SEC teams this year (South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi State). This is bad news for college football fans who want to see better games. School administrators continue to see declining attendance at games, yet they schedule more of this? Who wants to bet South Carolina gets 80% of its stadium filled for this game?