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Monday, September 11, 2006
Portland State University Vanguard: Paid to lose?
(Cal is paying PortlandState $400,000 to Play in Berkeley)
After beating New Mexico, PSU still faces two Division 1-A schools who paid them to play
By Owen Smith
After PortlandState quarterback Sawyer Smith hit senior Tremayne Kirkland for a 26-yard touchdown pass against New Mexico on Sept. 2, the Vikings had the 17-6 win over their Division I-A opponent in the bag. Seeing the sold-out University Stadium emptying early was a gratifying experience, said PSU athletic director Teri Mariani, who made the trek to Albuquerque to see the game. Despite playing at the Division I-AA level with a budget less than what many head coaches make at other universities, PSU dominated the Lobos and earned the upset victory – and a $250,000 paycheck for playing the game. While every college football team attempts to schedule easy victories into their season, weaker teams are demanding increasingly larger guaranteed money appearance fees to play against the nation’s elite programs. The New Mexico game was one of three “pay to play” games on the Vikings’ 2006 schedule.
PortlandState will travel to the University of California, Berkeley, on Sept. 16 and will pick up $400,000 to play the Golden Bears. Barely over a month later, the Vikings play another Pac-10 powerhouse in the University of Oregon Ducks down at Autzen Stadium for a $350,000 payday.