As the football season goes on, there are two related items we need to discuss. The first deals with sportsmanship. Robert Shaver, the head football coach at Plainedge High School, in North Massapequa, New York, received a one-game suspension after a Nassau County committee found he could have avoided an outsized 61-13 victory by his Red Devils against the Cyclones of South Side High School in Rockville Centre. A margin over 42 points triggers a review.
The committee determined Shaver should have pulled his starting players as the fourth quarter began. Shaver told the committee both teams were unbeaten, and he feared a Cyclones come-back if he took out his starters. An official with the National Federation of State High School Associations says in most places, lopsided wins are typically handled by running out the clock or stopping play.
The committee called the final score “lopsided,” according to a rule instated three years ago. The policy mandates any coach winning a game by more than 42 points must explain in writing how play-calling or strategy was adjusted to help keep the scoring down. The governing body decided that Shaver took too long to take out his regular players, and suspended him for one game. It was the first time a coach had been suspended under the rule. Over the weekend, Plainedge played the game Shaver was suspended for and won by 35 points, even after punting on first to help keep their score down.
Could that happen here?
Houston sportswriter Mickey Herskowitz once observed, “There must really be something to religion. People keep comparing it to Texas high school football.”
In recent weeks, Duncanville beat Richardson 59 to 0. Robert Lee edged Paint Rock 108-74, which is only a 34-point margin of victory, so the Robert Lee coach would be safe from suspension. What about the winning coach deliberately holding down the score? (Katy beat Katy Taylor 57-0. It was North Shore 62, Channelview 0.)
Now the second item: According to The New York Times, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a.k.a the Ragin’ Cajuns, is putting its name on a beer — for a price. Ragin’ Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Ale and Ragin’ Cajuns Genuine Louisiana Lager, are for sale. The beer is not sold on campus, and it is not advertised in student media. The distributor is also responsible for an alcohol awareness program for incoming freshmen. The name of the school only appears on the bottom of a six-pack of bottles.
The money goes to the university’s general fund, some of which is allocated to athletics. The beers have generated $1.2 million in sales since 2015, of which Louisiana-Lafayette has taken in $140,000 — its standard 12 percent royalty fee.
The school, like many others, is having problems raising money at a time when attendance at college football games nationwide is falling. More than 20 universities are marketing their own brand of beer such as Boiler Black (Purdue), Old Tuffy (North Carolina State), El Lobo Rojo (New Mexico) and Stampede (Colorado).
For schools like Louisiana-Lafayette — whose $32 million in athletics revenue last year was about one-fifth the total of Louisiana State — trying to keep up means having to drum up new income and ways of promoting itself. So the next time you see a college football game on ESPN at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, you’ll know money talks in academia, too.
In comparison to Cajuns’ $32 million, Texas A&M leads the nation in schools that make the most revenue off of college sports at $192.6 million.
Second? The University of Texas at $183.3 million.
More schools should follow. That university on South Main is a natural: Rice Rice. Aggies can grow moss on a rolling stone, so how about Reveille Morning Coffee? UT’s mascot is Bevo, named for a popular non-alcoholic malt beverage, or near-beer during Prohibition. Alas, the original Bevo was barbequed for an after-game party, but today Bevo Beer should sell well in Austin.
Another idea: Attention shoppers, on aisle five you will find Those Good Old Baylor Limes. Sorry, TCU, but Horned Frog Legs didn’t pass the focus group. Arkansas’ yell, “Pig Sooey” does not sell a soup, Pig Gooey. As for UH, today Cougars has a different meaning in some quarters. Get Ford to start turning out SMU Mustangs.
This just in: Grapevine 77, Carrolton Turner 0. Bushland over Muleshoe. 76-0. Southland beat Wilson, 92-42. Coaches, don’t move to New York.