A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
How One Idea Sparks The Stupidity Of ‘Racist’ Comments Is Unreal
Imagine would could have been. The #1 SWAC and #1/#2 MEAC conference champs going at it in a college bowl game in which both HBCU programs get paid like the ‘big’ boys at the D1 level.
SAN ANTONIO– It constantly amazes me how we have some very educated individuals in our country but then decide that letting stupidity come into their reasoning is just unheard of. Let me explain where I’m coming from. Last week, I penned the column, “Black College Football Needs A Premiere Bowl Game For Themselves”, I wrote the column because of the fact that after looking at all the bowl games that are being played between Dec. 20th to Jan. 4th of 2006, not a single HBCU team is represented. So I made the suggestion, mainly to the Black community, because it was ‘our’ job to help ‘our’ institutions. And thus a few e-mails came into the inbox that further solidified exactly why we have Historically Black Colleges and Universities and why the United Negro College Fund and the National Association For the Advancement Of Colored People, amongst other pro Black groups, are still around; because we still have ignorant citizens who make stupid statements without thought running around.
Let me state, once again, that the idea of bringing back the Heritage Bowl or even creating a new bowl game that pits two HBCU institutions from the two HBUC sports conferences in college sports together isn’t about segregating anybody. What the e-mailers didn’t do was do their homework before sending me an asinine statement. The MEAC and SWAC conferences are the only predominantly African American college sports conferences in the NCAA Division 1 category. These schools play D1 competition. However these conferences also are not benefiting from any type of bowl payoff structure because they are in the weaker Division 1AA classification. Now don’t get me wrong. These schools need to be in this classification because they do not meet the heavier conditions that D1 puts on college football programs. Schools like Hampton University and others who have been able to get into the 1-AA playoffs have done quite nicely at times and there is nothing to be holding your head down about. But to suggest that because a writer looks at the total economic viability of these conferences and sees that if schools like Boston College or TCU can get into a bowl game and get paid six figures for being there, how come the two top schools in the MEAC and SWAC conferences cannot do the same? Why does that idea have to spark a statement in an e-mail like “Why don’t we have separate water fountains as well?”?
I want to show that author of the e-mail and a few others who didn’t agree with the idea (these were the intelligent e-mails who actually had some valid points) why it is imperative that the Black community, the alumni members of the schools in the MEAC and SWAC conferences and others start looking into this idea.
ISN’T A SIX-FIGURE PAYOUT WORTH ONE EXTRA GAME?
I want take a few bowl games as my evidence of why the SWAC and MEAC conference needs to come together and help facilitate such an idea like I suggested. There are quite a few reasons why this idea should work and with the help of a few ‘lesser’ bowl games as some evidence, maybe I’ll persuade a few individuals who are key in those conferences to do a little research on the matter. My first piece of evidence for these two black school conference to have a bowl game of their stems from Ft. Worth or should I say, the Fort Worth Bowl game. This bowl pits two 6-5 teams together from the Big 12 and Conference USA (C-USA) conferences and do you know what they get as being bowl eligible for this bowl game? Try a $750.000 pay out. In this bowl game you have Kansas versus Houston and you have a game in a city that is not really known for ‘stellar’ college programs outside of TCU.
Speaking of Texas Christian University, my next piece of evidence using the smaller bowls is the Houston Bowl, which will be played on Dec. 31st. This New Year’s Eve Bowl game pits #14 TCU against Iowa State. What’s the payout of this bowl? How about a $1.2 million payout for each team?
My next bowl game will be the one that I will be attending and that is the Mastercard Alamobowl game between Nebraska and Michigan. The payout for both of these teams is $1.65 million per team and will probably be one of the more watched games in the country.
Finally I wanted to take the traditional Cotton Bowl game as my final example or piece of evidence for this argument. Alabama will be taking on Texas Tech on New Year’s Day in Big D and do you know what the payout is for each team? $2.5 million apiece.
All four of these bowl games have tradition in them and each and every one of these examples, plus the others not mentioned, give back to the community during charitable events. But understand this point above all others: these bowl games are about giving two institutions the chance to better themselves through this game and the fact that they get a paycheck at the end for their participation is a big boost in helping the schools perfect their athletic programs.
So if the big D1 schools who are bowl eligible and are participating in bowl games that range from a payout of $750,000 to almost $15 million, why would it be such a wrong idea for this year’s two top SWAC/MEAC schools being a part of the bowl tradition? Since the Hampton Pirates went to the playoffs, how come we could not have seen a game sometime after Christmas in which South Carolina State (9-2) take on Grambling in a bowl game in which both schools got paid $750,000 a piece, a little television time on BET or another urban network, and a chance to truly be included into the bowl tradition?
You see I’m not looking at segregating anything as some people may have suggested in their e-mails and I’m not discounting the rich football classics that Black college football has been giving us in the past. However, you would think that in 2005 many in the Black community would want to get out of the sand box and maybe make their way over to the slip and slide or merry go round where the other ‘kids’ are playing. This community has way too much expendable income in which individuals cannot put something together like a revamped Heritage Bowl and make it work. There are models already out there and there is definitely a need to get beyond the notion that black college football is all about the Classic match up.
If people want to see more of our kids succeed and be able to hang with the Reggie Bushes of the world, then maybe it is time for many of us to stop being ignorant in our thought process that we should be happy watching our HBCU schools not being able to compete at a bigger level. I will tell you this much and maybe a few folks will agree, had the Black community really gotten behind the Heritage Bowl when it was being ran in the past, we may have had a Florida A&M or a North Carolina A&T getting a $2.5 million pay day right now. Yes it takes money to be in Division 1A and that type of pay out to any school could have helped make that ‘dream’ a reality today or at least become closer to happening. It’s just something to think about before another ‘stupid, racist’ statement like the one I quoted at the top of this article is made to anyone else in the Black community.
WRITER’S NOTE: If you want to find about what the payouts are for the upcoming bowl games, you can go to click here and get all the information you need.