Saturday, July 15, 2017

SWAC banking on Celebration Bowl for money, prestige

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The Southwestern Athletic Conference is all-in when it comes to the Celebration Bowl, banking on it to put the league on better financial footing.

The SWAC is dropping its championship game in a money-saving move. The league won’t have a title contest starting in 2018 after ending up in the red because of dwindling attendance.

“Whenever you get a million dollars and you’re not spending a million dollars on your own championship game, it helps tremendously,” SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp said Friday at the league’s media day.

The SWAC’s postseason, barring receiving what is believed would be its first at-large FCS playoff berth, will pit the champion against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference winner in the Celebration Bowl at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

But it’s not just about the money. Coaches in the league that once routinely produced NFL stars, including Jerry Rice and Walter Payton, believe the platform will have a positive impact onTR recruiting, enhance the prestige of the conference and make travel easier for fans.


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