View Full Version : OT - Fuel pinch could alter college sports schedules (including basketball)

10-03-2008, 03:58 PM

Posted: October 3, 2008
Sporting News staff reports

Rising fuel costs are putting a big squeeze on collegiate athletic programs and could lead to changes as far reaching as the way the NCAA college basketball tournament is scheduled, the New York Times reports.

Ohio State's bill for two charter flights to USC for their recent football game came to $346,000, $24,200 of which was a fuel surcharge, Buckeyes senior athletic director Ben Jay told the newspaper. That fuel surcharge used to be at most a couple thousand dollars.

Extra baggage fees also are a problem for teams because they travel with a lot of equipment. Even bus rides are becoming prohibitively expensive for many teams.

Some programs are limiting the number of student-athletes who travel to away games, and some are considering shorter seasons, the Times reports.

One change the NCAA already has instituted is raising the minimum distance for plane travel to 400 miles from 350 miles, the newspaper reports. Another change that could be in the works involves scheduling the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA is considering a longer lag time between Selection Sunday and the first games of the tournament so teams can explore cheaper travel options.

The University of Alaska Anchorage is one of the hardest hit programs. Seawolves athletic director Steve Cobb told the Times the airlines' extra baggage fees alone will cost his school $20,000 to check equipment this season. He is trying to negotiate with airlines to have them waive the extra baggage fees for the university's athletic teams.

Cobb told the newspaper he not only has trouble scheduling non-conference opponents willing to travel to Anchorage in all sports, but also the Great Alaska Shootout is becoming harder to fill with eight men's teams and four women's teams.

Wheaton College, just west of Chicago, is considering shortening its basketball season by one game, though that is a last resort, Athletic Director Dr. Tony Ladd said. Other programs are considering similar measures, according to the Times report.

10-03-2008, 06:37 PM
Zagco read an article about this regarding the WAC's Hawaii. It's unreal how much Hawaii has to pay just to travel to play their conference opponents, not even to speak about their earlier trip this year to play against Florida! It's very difficult to understand how many college sports programs that do not generate revenue from seat sales and luxury suites (and big TV contracts) can survive anymore. There are far too many colleges trying to compete at the highest level, evidenced by terrible facilities, empty seats all over the place, not many season ticket holders, and virtually no TV money.

Section 116
10-04-2008, 01:20 PM
Here is another article regarding the same issue from the New York Times:


10-04-2008, 03:04 PM
So if there are street riots, martial law, and revolution, will that affect the Zag schedule?

Sorry to be so pessimistic. When I think of the worst state of national affairs in my lifetime. I must rank:

1) Cuban Missile Crisis/Vietnam War/Civil Unrest/Domestic Revolution (the world is coming to an end)

2) Now.... Global Warming/Two Front Middle Eastern War/Terrorism/Energy Crisis/Wall Street Bail Out/"Stagflation"/Nuclear Proliferation. (The world is coming to an end).

3) Iran Hostages/Three Miles Island/Arab Oil Embargo/Economic Recession

It is as bleak (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRAU11JXcvU)as I can ever remember it.

I need some Zag hoops to lift my spirits :)

10-05-2008, 07:32 AM
Do the Zags have their private jet this year ??

10-05-2008, 03:57 PM
This should affect schools who 1) travel with a small city; 2) small schools with no or limited budgets; or 3) schools either great distances away or those that must travel big distances to get to a game.

Plenty of fuel around. Just doesn't cost as little as it did 1 year ago. Prices are falling like big rocks and should be within 20% of last year's prices by the election. We were NEVER short in supply. NEVER!