One aspect of college basketball that has drawn the ire of some fans over the years is the presence of “guarantee games,” contests in which a school pays the visiting school to play a contest that in most cases is little more than a glorified exhibition. Programs struggling to balance their accounts send teams on the road for multiple guarantee games, resulting in many days on the road and few (if any) home dates before conference play begins in January.
One school in such a predicament is Grambling, which finished last season with an 0-28 record. With donations dwindling and the same being the case for state funding, the entire athletic department has fallen on hard times. Things have come to a head with the football team refusing to make the trip to play at Jackson State this weekend, which leads to our assigned reading for the day.
George Dohrmann of Sports Illustrated took a look at the many issues plaguing Grambling’s football program and the school as a whole, with the lack of money resulting in professors going on furlough and even in some cases being asked to teach courses for free. Will a few guarantee games cure this issue (Grambling’s lone non-conference home game this season is against Lyon College on December 21)? No, but it does help illustrate why some schools put together such schedules.