Florida A&M athletic director Milton Overton Jr. hasn’t been involved in athletics at HBCUs long, but he’s already picked up on the fact that the current playbook needs overhauling.
Overton Jr. told Tallahassee.com’s Jordan Culver that he hopes to eventually replace money games with FAMU-owned classics in Miami and Atlanta.
The financial success of the Florida Classic, which made almost $800,000 for FAMU, appears to have sold him on the idea that classics could replace revenue his program gets from guaranteed money games.
“The surveys, the data and the money all make sense,” Overton said.
“The logical move, for FAMU, is to play Classics. I’m grateful and I know FAMU is grateful for the opportunity to play some of these games that we have to play right now. But I preface it by saying we have to play them.”
What Overton is proposing is not a new proposition, but in light of the Celebration Bowl, perhaps more schools, particularly in the MEAC, will look more extensively to the idea. As lucrative as they are, Money Games are a bitter pill for many fans and alumni to swallow, even though they are used to keep many athletic departments afloat.
Overton wants more control, instead of waiting for an FBS school to make his program an offer.
“We were always saying, ‘Who is going to give us a guarantee?’” Overton said. “Even if it’s a classic, the guarantor is always the promoter. It’s almost the same as playing Ohio State. It’s just, ‘OK, how much are you going to give me?’ That’s all we’ll ever earn.
“I want to make sure whenever my assignment is over – and only God will define that – whoever is in this seat is actually in a driver’s seat and not being led. That you actually have choices you can make because the athletic department is financially independent.”