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Should military teams join college football conferences?

Sally Herships Sep 30, 2011

Should military teams join college football conferences?

Sally Herships Sep 30, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: There’s a big football game tomorrow — well, quite a few actually — including Air Force
playing Navy. And it comes at a time when both those teams could be preparing to join the Big East conference, to replace Pitt and Syracuse,
which are leaving next year.

Sally Herships looks at what Big East membership
could mean for both teams.

Sally Herships: When it comes to football, the Navy has always been an independent. The Air Force is part of the Mountain West Conference. But financially, they’re in similar situations.

Victor Matheson: Typically, any football program outside of the big six football conferences don’t make money.

Victor Matheson teaches sports economics at the College of the Holy Cross. He says joining a premier conference translates into millions in television revenue.

Dr. Harvey Schiller is former commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. He says the greater exposure has a number of benefits, but:

Harvey Schiller: They also have to be careful that they don’t line up every Saturday against the Big 10.

Like Ohio State or Michigan. Schiller says the military academies impose weight restrictions to keep their students fit for the battlefield. That doesn’t help on the football field.

No matter where Navy and Air Force land, they may have trouble recruiting. Many prospects are gunning for a stint in the NFL, not the armed forces.

I’m Sally Herships for Marketplace.

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