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College Kickoff: TU ‘prostitutes themselves’ for LSU

26 September 2012 By Devin Smith, Art Director 21 Comments

ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard said that when a college athletic department allows their football team to get pummeled by a higher-ranked opponent for money they are “prostituting themselves.”

I can’t agree more.

This weekend, our team will play against one of the greatest college football teams of all time, Louisiana State University, and we will undoubtedly lose. But will we lose much more then that?

In the beginning of the college football season, a similar situation took place with Savannah State’s football team, who played against such teams as Oklahoma State and Florida State. Savannah State lost by a combined 139 points.

It was a demoralizing defeat for the team, hurt its overall record, put the players’ health at risk for playing, as some of the players they faced are NFL-ready. The losses even hurt the reputation of the program because these games are such a blow out.

Just as Savannah State sold out its football program to the tune of almost a million dollars, our athletic program is getting paid for this game. Is it worth it?

Towson playing LSU this weekend will result in some of the same consequences. We are sacrificing the health of our players and the reputation of our program. We are showing, not just our football players, but Towson students, that losing and accepting defeat is OK at this institution.

The benefits of this game for our team are extremely shortsighted. We have the great opportunity to win it all this year, especially after gaining playoff experience from last season and having Terrance West, the best running back in the Colonial Athletic Association.

We risk a lot playing in this game. We are putting our offensive line and quarterback against one of the best defensive lines in the country, and because our players our not as prepared as these NFL-bound players are, there is a significantly higher risk of injury to our key players, who are not seeing a dime of this money.

Too many people view our athletic program, which really represents our great institution, as the laughing stock of the country because the basketball team has the longest losing record in NCAA history.

How much worse is this loss going to make Towson University look in the eyes of the public?

After we get beat down and our players look at the scoreboard in agony, remember that even though our athletic department received payment, no one wins in this situation.


  • towerlightreader said:

    I’m sure you’ll get flack for this article, but I completely agree. When I saw the schedule I couldn’t believe that we are playing LSU. Such a joke, and I think it definitely counts as prostituting the team out. Many of the players will have at least 40-60 lbs. on some of our players. They are going to be absolutely crushed. Huge fan of the Tigers, but ready for a huge massacre.

  • Roberrt said:

    Good job of verbalizing what everyone has always thought, not just Towson, but any game like this. It seems to be a way of life for the smaller colleges. Fans have a tuff time getting into these types of games.
    Hopefully it makes these teams better for the experience.

  • LSUfan said:

    I disagree. There’s no empirical evidence that athletes from small schools face greater risk of injury against teams from larger schools. In playing this game Towson wins in several ways. First, the get paid an amount that is likely more than they’ll make on all of their home games this season, combined. That is money that will improve the team and the school — better facilities attract better players, and the influx of capital leaves more money in the school budget for other things, like paying professors. Second, this is a great opportunity for national recognition for Towson — this game will introduce Towson to a national TV audience filled with potential students, athletes, and donors. Third, far from losing in any event, this is a situation in which Towson cannot lose. If Towson loses by 40 points (it is unlikely to be much more than that because of LSU’s run-oriented, ball control offense and because Towson is much better than Savanah State), it’s expected; nothing happens; Towson is unlikely to drop in the FCS rankings. However, if Towson keeps it close or pulls off the upset (which, granted, would be on the very short list of biggest upsets is college fb history) it will build confidence and get all the more national recognition and credit. So, I respectfully disagree with the position espoused in the article. This is a great opportunity for Towson, and we look forward to an exciting game.

  • TU Alum said:

    When you were growing up, did you like to play against the kids you always beat or did you like to play against the kids who were better?

    I was always taught play against to best to get better. We may not win on the final scoreboard but there are some individual battles that we might win throughout the game that helps us down the stretch of the CAA season.

    A couple of other things to consider:

    Do you think we will play in a tougher atmosphere than “Death Valley” on a Saturday night? Probably not.

    We are trying to build a program, something that has not been around since I’ve been a part of Towson (2002 I was a Freshman). The number of Alum that are heading to Baton Rouge this weekend continues to build the program. Towson football is trying to make a mark nationally and this will only help.

    I understand your concern for the injuries and the fact that we might be embarrassed this weekend. But there are many more black eyes on Towson than losing to the #3 FBS football team in country.

  • ordie bordelon said:

    Towon players,”coach why can’t we play against some ranked teams?”Coach,”sorry but you can’t go against those men,they might hurt you.”

  • Alum said:

    title 9..need to support the non-revenue generating sports somehow. donations, student fees or football paydays. donations ha this is towson as you mentioned, our alumni don’t donate as they should. student fees good luck pushing that. so football paydays it is.

    (note i said revenue not profit, i doubt our football program is profitable but at least they cover some of the costs with ticket sales)

  • Brad 2007 Alum said:

    Football injuries happen. Towson does not have a greater risk of injury playing LSU than they do when they play any other CAA school. How cool is it if you are a Towson player to say you got to play at Death Valley?

    We are going to lose, but we will get a hefty paycheck, national recognition, and the players will have fun doing it.

  • Football Parent said:

    As the parent of a Towson football player how INSENSITIVE your article is to the coaches and football team of Towson University!! You have no idea who is going to win this game, so to be so insensitive to the guys who are actually going to be playing the game is insane and uncalled for. I remember when I was in high school/college we supported our team regardless whether they were winning or losing (NOW THAT IS SCHOOL SPIRIT). It bad enough that the students of this fine university do not stay the whole game and support the team, but now to read this about them in “their” school newspaper is not right. If you can be there to support the team it shouldn’t matter to you what happens to them. There are people on the other hand who will be there to support these young men, because as Coach Ambrose and J. Dangerfield said “LSU have 11 men on the field as Towson”.

    Some things are best left unsaid or keep them to yourself, everyone doesn’t want to read/hear the negativity!!GO TIGERS!!!

  • Adam Vargas said:

    Devin, You apparently have no clue how things work in the athletic world. You play the best to become the best. You take risks to reap rewards. If you live your life by this mantra of staying at your current caliber, you will end up stagnant and mediocre while everyone else develops and surpasses you. Were you the little kid who got pelted by dodge balls way too many times in gym class in grade school??? Please don’t take it out on your current athletic program!

    Towson will be getting $510K FOR THIS 1 GAME ALONE. Would you prefer that coming out of your pocket as education costs rise more and more??? Looking at it that way, these guys are playing to keep your fees down.

    @ towerlightreader, 40-60 pound size difference??? Did you know St. Francis, who we just crushed had a starter (Lloyd Hill) on their offensive line who was 6’3″ and 401 pounds???? Skill beats size… Ill even do you a favor and link the roster to prove your point invalid…. http://www.sfuathletics.com/roster.aspx?path=football

    So lets see…..how many ways are you guys off on this matter???

    1 – Money for title IX

    2 – Gain the skill that comes with playing that level of a program

    3 – Keeping up in these games gives national recognition (even a shot at moving up if your consistent)

    4 – If you have a consistently notable player (West & Dangerfield for example) this gives them the exposure to end up on an NFL draft board come graduation.

    5 – Size means nothing to skill. Have you ever heard the term “stay low????”

    All in all, if this is the way you think, Id rather not see you at a home football game wasting space and leaving at halftime like all the others. I want to be surrounded by people who understand and appreciate everything these guys put on the field. I am a member of “The Roar,” which was put together to see Towson pride in the athletics programs strengthened, not demoralized by the opinions and views you print in demoralizing and uneducated articles like this.

    Make an upROAR…or get out the way!!!!!!!!!!

    Ambrose, team, if your reading this….see you in Death Valley!!!!!!

  • 1983 Alum said:

    By the grace of God I will be at Camden Yards watching the Orioles beat the Redsox. I wish Towson an Appalachian State beat Michigan style upset so never say never. However, I won’t hold my breath.

    It is quite ridiculous to see Towson get their butts walloped on national television. Embarrassment is an understatement. I am beginning to wonder if our AD has a human conscience to stop scheduling Towson vs. FBS powerhouses. I betcha 25th ranked Boise State can easily beat Towson.

    The Tigers are just not physically nor mentally built tough enough to continue being pummeled to death by these FBS schools.

    It was fun last season to see Towson win the CAA and nearly beat Lehigh to advance in the FCS playoffs but it is another thing to see Towson arrive home black and blue with their tails between their legs from another FBS beat down.

    Is being paid to make the trip to LSU really worth another butt kicking on ESPN? I think Towson would be better donating their bodies to the Red Cross than to see them beaten to death like Savannah State was from Oklahoma State and Florida State.

  • dixiedog44 said:

    I see your title is art directer and to tell you the truth, that is how your article comes across – as a pretty piece of fluff – certainly not like a sportswriter! Smaller institutions do not have the monetary means to support their programs like the larger, more affluent major programs and must supplement their income with games like this to continue to be viable. I will bet the coach, athletic director and, yes, even the players feel fortunate to be matched with LSU this weekend. Just because Towsons art director is a wuss does not mean their football players are! Perhaps you would be more suited to reporting on a knitting team season!

  • Roberrt said:

    If an athlete can’t get into knocking off one of the big boys, then they shouldn’t be playing. I can remember when LSU had to come back about 40 points in the fourth quarter against Troy. It will be a great experience down in swamp land with a bunch of drunk fans calling you names, while 500 sweaty pounds lays on top of you. Something to tell your grand kids about. That quarterback from Idaho was a good sport; think he was cracking jokes at the line of scrimmage. That’s probably the proper approach.
    Anyway excellent subject, there are pro’s and con’s.

  • Kene GoGo Gorham said:

    As a former Tiger, I can’t begin to list the many ways I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with your article…
    If everyone thought like you, the words, “underdog” “upset” would never have made it into our sports vocabulary…This is WRONG and frankly, UN-AMERICAN, on so many levels…
    The amount of positives for such a move far out way your short-sighted, pessimistic, mindset.
    You have to start with ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE in all phases of life, whether SPORTS, business, personal life, etc…
    People with the opposite mindset are doomed to mediocrity and will never do anything GREAT!
    I’d rather people like you not write articles in my beloved TU TOWERLIGHT–kids might be listening.

  • stho381 said:

    It will help pay for the other smaller sports to continue their existence at TU. $500k-1M is a fair chunk of your athletic budget most likely. TBH, the fans at LSU don’t want to see this game either, but TCU backed out of the schedule and we needed a replacement in short order and we are paying you rather handsomely to come to BR and play us. Enjoy the tailgating, enjoy the atmosphere of what many believe is the greatest place in CFB, Death Valley on Saturday night. It will be dialed back because of the weather, but there will be good food and an entertaining game to watch.

  • Evil Cockroach said:

    1. You have to pay for girl’s tiddly-winks, ergo 500K to come play us
    2. LSU fans will be more than happy to hand you a beer and some Good Cajun Food at the thousands of tailgate parties going on campus…yes the entire campus. We had like 5 U-Dub fans at our tailgate. We were happy to have them. They knew they were getting beat. They were happy to be there. Enjoy Baton Rouge, then head down to New Orleans and enjoy that.
    3. Head to http://www.tigerdroppings.com to see what the LSU fans are talking about

  • Noelle- Alum said:

    Well now I would like to see if you stand by your decision after Towson’s great performance against LSU. Way to go Tigers! (of both teams)

  • Black_Ops said:

    I would also like to hear the thoughts of people who were so against this. It is the nature of football that you often play bigger-better teams, especially in College-and-HS.

    Now, I won’t disagree that Towson was outmatched, but I don’t think enough people were aware of the potential of our “little” team to go out and give it their all. I’m pretty sure nerves were a little shaky during the week prepping for this game, but after the first hit, the nerves were gone… and it was just football once again. And I think only people who have played football can understand what “it’s just football” truly means.

    Also… i’d like to point out. That the only serious injury to occur, happened to an LSU player; if memory serves me correctly.

    GO TU!

  • 1983 Alum said:

    Black_Ops, so where is your comment congratulating Towson for scoring 22 points against the #3 team in the nation?

    So far, I am the only commenter in the sports section “Towson roars with the bayou tigers.”

    I was against Towson even playing LSU in the first place but like the Boise State Broncos, Towson is learning they can play with the big boys in the FBS.

    Oh yes I do apologize for adding to the doom and gloom I thought Towson would experience. I was WRONG! But then again, sports is very unpredictable. Just ask Michigan after Appalachian State beat them at home.

    WAY TO GO TIGERS, the T-O-W-S-O-N Tigers that is.

  • 1983 Alum said:

    This is for all who want to read what LSU fans thought the final score would be. Towson proved all of them WRONG!!!!!!!!!!


    And to think Towson fans were doom and gloom.

  • 1995 Alum said:

    I was one of the very proud alumni that made the trip to Baton Rouge for this game. I think it goes without saying that your article was disgraceful and as an “Art Editor”, you should stick with what you know, whatever that may be. I was proud of our guys both before and after they took the field for this game. They proved you and everyone else wrong. Thing is, they shouldn’t have had to prove anything to you.

    I look forward to reading your follow up article entitled, “Eating Crow – Art Directors dabbling in Sports”…

  • Do Your Research said:

    “…TCU backed out of the schedule and we needed a replacement in short order and we are paying you rather handsomely to come to BR and play us.”

    Prove this. Show me schedule…anywhere…which said LSU and TCU were playing in 2012. The home-and-home was always scheduled for 2013 & 2014. Always. There may have been negotiations to the contrary, but there was NEVER, EVER any official announcement of a game in 2012.

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