Thursday, October 14, 2010

FBS Attendance

An institution classified in Football Bowl Subdivision shall meet all the Division I membership requirements set forth in NCAA Division I Bylaws 20.9.1 through 20.9.5 and in addition, shall:

1. Sponsor a minimum of 16 varsity intercollegiate sports, including football, based on the
minimum sports sponsorship and scheduling requirements set forth in Bylaw 20.
Sponsorship shall include a minimum six sports involving all male teams or mixed teams
(males and females), and a minimum of eight varsity intercollegiate teams involving all
female teams. Institutions may use up to two emerging sports to satisfy the required eight
varsity intercollegiate sports involving all female teams. [Bylaw]
2. Schedule and play at least 60 percent of its football contests against members of Football
Bowl Subdivision. Institutions shall schedule and play at least five regular season home
contests against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. [Bylaw]
3. Average at least 15,000 in actual or paid attendance for all home football contests over a
rolling two-year period. [Bylaw]
4. Provide an average of at least 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of overall
football grants-in-aid per year over a rolling two-year period. [Bylaw]
5. Annually offer a minimum of 200 athletics grants-in-aid or expend at least four million dollars on grants-in-aid to student-athletes in athletics programs. [Bylaw] 

This means that the home game attendance at any given FBS school from any two consecutive years should average at least 15,000 fans. Lets take a look at which teams have not averaged at least 15,000 people per home game over the past two seasons.

Bowling Green157011404414873
Miami (OH)154351181013623
Florida International138521020412028
Eastern Michigan18951501611984
Kent State106391551213076

Technically all six of these schools could have their FBS status taken away from them. The NCAA chooses not to enforce this bylaw. It is hypocritical that the NCAA is making a big deal out of agents talking with college players, yet they refuse to enforce their own rules on the books. As the recession continues, I expect to see more teams that cannot maintain an average home attendence above 15,000 people. Overall FBS attendence figures declined between 2008 and 2009. I expect attendence figures to continue to decrease in the 2010 football season. Ticket prices are rising, gasoline prices are high, and many people are out of work.


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