Indiana Hoosiers "Sell Out," Trade Home Conference Game for Cash

Tim CarySenior Analyst IAugust 26, 2009

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Fans of Penn State wave towels before a game between the Oregon State Beavers and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium on September 6, 2008 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

According to a release from the Indiana University athletic department, Indiana has agreed to play its 2010 home game against Penn State at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

In exchange for moving the game from Bloomington to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. (and selling an allotment of 7,000 seats), Indiana will receive $3 million.

Anybody else see the writing on the wall?

Not quite sure this is Delaware State forfeiting a conference game to earn an Ann Arbor guarantee, but it's close.

The Hoosiers' decision to sell out in hopes of a sellout is one more sign of the economic times we're living in, and IU shouldn't package it as anything else.

According to Mitch Gershman, the CEO of the Redskins, "Both universities have a very large following with enthusiastic fan support and alumni in the Washington Metropolitan area."


If you really think Indiana is going to draw tens of thousands of fans for a "home" football game in Washington D.C. when they can't draw tens of thousands of fans in Bloomington, I have some 2010 Hoosiers conference champions t-shirts to sell you.

Translation: there's no way the Hoosiers can claim to be competing for a championship in the league when they sacrifice one of their four conference games to Penn State on the altar of the almighty dollar.

Do the math. FedEx Field seats 91,704 fans. Indiana will be selling 7,000 of those tickets. If you have delusions of anything but a Nittany Lion whiteout for a game against the league's easternmost team—along the eastern seaboard—go back and watch the NIT basketball final in Madison Square Garden.

The Hoosiers are now big road underdogs in a conference game they should be playing at home.

But at least they can pay the athletic department bills and print the media guides.

The scary part is what kind of trends may result. If you're the Buckeyes or Wolverines, why not start paying every school in the league to move road games to your home state? I mean, if it's all about money...

Ohio State "at" Purdue...in Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati.

Michigan "at" Northwestern...in Ford Field, Detroit.

Hey, at least the former home team "will enjoy playing in an NFL venue," as the Hoosiers' Bill Lynch said when he praised the FedEx Field announcement.

Yeah, those teams with the smaller fan bases will enjoy playing in an NFL venue.

They won't enjoy losing in a hostile environment, though.

At least they'll enjoy the paycheck.

This article is also featured on FirstandBigTen.com, a Bleacher Report blog dedicated to Big Ten football.

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