Becoming the Evangelical Notre Dame Can Get Expensive

Harry Minium of The Virginia Pilot reports that “Liberty will pay ODU a whopping $1.32 million to play in 2018 home opener football game.”

Here is a taste:

With millions of evangelical Christian adherents, 100,000 online students and an endowment of $1 billion, Liberty University has financial resources unavailable to most mid-major schools, and the Flames appear willing to open their checkbook for their football program.

Liberty will pay Old Dominion an eye-popping $1.32 million to play in the Flames’ 2018 home opener, according to records obtained from ODU under the Freedom of Information Act.

Liberty athletic director Ian McCaw said the school could afford to pay that much only because it signed a guarantee game in 2018 with a Power 5 school “that is upwards of seven figures.” That guarantee essentially will be forwarded to ODU, he said.

McCaw would not identify the school, but Liberty also is playing at Auburn and Virginia in 2018.

Liberty received approval from the NCAA just three months ago to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

“It was difficult to complete our schedule, and we appreciate that Old Dominion worked with us,” McCaw said.

It is unprecedented for a mid-major school to pay a guarantee of that size, one on par with payouts made by elite Power 5 schools for home games against mid-majors such as ODU.

It will be by far the most the Monarchs have been paid for a guarantee game, surpassing the $1 million in 2014 for traveling to Vanderbilt of the SEC.

ODU won’t be the only Norfolk school raking in cash from Liberty. Norfolk State will be paid $300,000 for playing at Liberty two weeks after the Monarchs, Spartans athletic director Marty Miller said by email.

The ODU guarantee ranks among the largest received by a Conference USA school. Western Kentucky got $1.3 million for its 2016 game at Alabama, the defending national champion at the time. That was thought to be the biggest payout in 2016 for any mid-major .

Charlotte, meanwhile, was paid $900,000 for playing at Kentucky in 2015, while ODU received $800,000 for playing at North Carolina State last season. Middle Tennessee is to receive $1.7 million for playing at Georgia in 2018.

Read the entire article here.

“Champions for Christ!”

One thought on “Becoming the Evangelical Notre Dame Can Get Expensive

  1. Hi John,
    I was busy with other things, but when (and how) did they get to a billion dollar endowment? They went from being broke to the top 10% of university endowments in 15 years? Randy Heinig


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