I haven’t watched any bowl games yet this year. There are too many of them, and as an adult I find it hard to make time to watch the whatever, whatever, whatever, sponsored bowl matchup between two 6-6 teams. But in the first week of exploiting unpaid athletes for sponsorship money, some stories did emerge in college football.
The Minnesota football team boycotted all football activities in response to 10 players on the team being suspended. The team stated they will not play in the Holiday Bowl against Washington State if the players remained suspended. I thought this was cool as players were finally using their power as leverage against the schools they play for. Then I read into why the players were suspended and no longer thought the situation was cool.
Players on the team gang banged a college student who claims she did not consent to a having sex with a majority of the guys who took advantage of her. The situation is a little hard to discern as she did consent to a couple of guys while drunk but then the word got out to several other players and they showed up to take their turn with her. Several videos were taken of the event without the consent of the woman. Sexual assault, especially a case like this one is hard to prosecute and all players involved were not criminally charged but they were suspended by the school for breaking the University of Minnesota conduct rules. I suggest you read the report and form your own opinions, it’s like 80 pages long, but the last 40 pages are filled with lawyer mumbo jumbo.
Once the full report from the school’s investigation was released the team ended the boycott. It’s unfortunate that the team used their power for a cause like this one instead of one that matters like getting their fair share of the money they bring into the school. Even if they did go through with the boycott and not play in the bowl game, the school would have only been out an estimated $200,000. Northern Illinois was ready to replace them in the game and if anything the attention from the boycott would have brought more attention to the game and therefore the sponsors. This is a shitty situation where I believe this girl was taken advantage of and the boycott by the team only brought more attention to the assault.
Once Lee Corso retires or dies, whichever comes first, Desmond Howard will take over the throne of being the worst analyst on College Game Day. It turns out he is even worse as a color commentator. His lack of preparation and outdated takes on targeting calls were difficult to listen too according to the internet. I didn’t watch the Boca Raton Bowl between Memphis and Western Kentucky but my twitter was littered with anti-Des criticism. It’s tough being a sports analyst in the modern age even for the professional and informed, it takes more than just being a former Heisman winner and a big name to be plopped on a TV set to vomit clichés. Can you imagine if John Madden called games in this current environment? Blood bath.
If I were trying to schedule a division one college football bowl game to attract the least amount of fans possible, I wouldn’t have done better than the Miami Beach Bowl this year. The highly anticipated matchup between the mediocre MAC Central Michigan and one of AAC’s best Tulsa, was played in Miami on a Monday at 2:30 in the afternoon. What were they thinking? As you can see in the featured photo, the game didn’t draw a big crowd. It doesn’t help that the game was a blowout so the tens of people who actually went to the game saw a shitty one.