Athletic standings may be sacrificed for revenue

On Sept. 9, Florida A&M University took on Miami at the Orange Bowl. It wasn’t exactly Clash of the Titans. Miami won the football game by a little more than 40 points.

It did, however, bring home about $300,000 for the university. Perhaps that cushioned the blow.

The men’s basketball team is “projected to bring in $250,000 in revenue from the 2006-2007 season,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Its schedule includes defending national champion Florida as well as “top 25 programs Maryland, Illinois and Pittsburgh.”

Are these challenging line-ups a way to raise the bar for athletic teams, or are we sacrificing our athletic lambs for a few bucks? How much is a team’s esteem worth?

These are questions that probably don’t have a simple answer.

After all, according to the Democrat, lawmakers gave FAMU “only $500,000 this year, much less than requested, to address the issues of recruitment, retention and graduation.” Without a school, there would be no team, so it stands to reason that the money has to come from somewhere.

With this in mind, maybe ensuring the survival of FAMU is worth a blemish on a team’s record. Either way, hats off to the men’s basketball and football teams. Play hard and win or lose with pride. With gutsy schedules like these, you are helping to lay a foundation that ensures there will always be a cheering section for the underdog.

Alaythia C. Burkins for the editorial board.