Times are tough. School is out. Need a job?
Start a bowl game!
You don’t need much. If you can get approved by the NCAA (the toughest hurdle), the rest could leave you feeling as if the tooth fairy stuck thousands of dollar bills under your pillow.
It doesn’t matter if only a few hundred people show up for your game. Bowls require schools to pay for tickets regardless of whether they sell them.
So find a town that is cold and lonely around wintertime and two football teams that barely won half their games and make a deal.
Bob Barker couldn’t have made it easier.
Unsold tickets, arguably enough to wallpaper their athletic departments, are the biggest drains on most bowl-bound teams. Bowl executives reap most of the reward.
Nearly every school wants to get invited to a bowl game. Most athletic directors and coaches get bonuses for going, believe it helps with recruiting, and there are extra practice days.
You will have to brush up on your vocabulary because in “bowlspeak” certain words do not mean what you were taught in grade school.
Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan, who lobbied for Ohio State’s maligned five to play in his bowl game, said it was to preserve the integrity of the game, and we can’t be sure whether he was trying to preserve the bowl salary that paid him a reported $594,000 in 2009.
All this money is floating around, so it might as well go in your pockets.
Be a bowl executive: Qualifications unknown, write your own.
New bats boon to scouts
Baseball scouts are feeling good about the Major League Baseball draft, which begins Monday, more than they have in nearly four decades -- going back to 1974 when aluminum bats were introduced to the college game.
The bats used in college baseball this year are the closest we’ve had to anything resembling a wood bat in 37 years.
The results are significant.
Last year in NCAA Division I baseball, the combined batting average of all players was .305, and there were 0.94 homers per game. At midseason this year, the batting average was .279, and there were 0.47 homers per game.
The home run leader in Florida JUCO baseball had 14 homers this past season, compared to 26 last year, 17 in 2009 and 22 in 2008.
In the Southeastern Conference last year, there were 36 players who hit at least 10 homers. Two-thirds of the way through this season, the league leader had 10.
It has changed how scouts evaluate smaller players because now they hit and run and bunt more and steal more bases. It has put more emphasis on defensive skills, and scouts are looking more intently at pitchers who can pitch to contact and throw fastballs. Breaking-ball pitchers were at a premium in college baseball until this year.
Tebow supports player pay
The movement to give college football players more financial compensation picked up its biggest booster last week with former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
It’s one thing to have Steve Spurrier and the rest of the million-dollar SEC head coaches call for putting dollars into their players’ bank pockets and another to have backing from Tebow, college football’s Mr. Clean.
Tebow echoed a popular theme that is gaining momentum when he noted how college football players are making millions of dollars for the universities and often struggle to have enough money to go out and get something to eat or buy a shirt.
Perhaps Spurrier was trying to get his senses back after announcing he was going to give his beleaguered quarterback, Stephen Garcia, yet another chance to mend his ways after five suspensions.
Should Carnes feel slighted?
The last couple of weeks have been filled with stories about Nebraska losing quarterbacks, and then ESPN comes out with a huge story on Cornhusker signee Bubba Starling, the potential superstar QB with hardly a word about Brion Carnes.
After his spring game performance, it’s hard to believe the Manatee High product is not a topic of conversation when Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini and his staff meet behind closed doors.
Starling likely will be chosen among the top five players in the MLB draft, and with Scott Boras his agent it doesn’t seem likely he is going to spend a lot of time in Lincoln throwing footballs.
Even if he played just football don’t bet against Carnes beating him out, and if he tries to play both sports as rumored, he doesn’t have a chance against Carnes or starter Taylor Martinez.
Some say Pelini has a dual purpose in remaining silent. He doesn’t want to pressure Carnes or upset Martinez.
Alan Dell, Herald sports writer, can be reached at 745-2112.