Swickard: Selling losses sells out the program

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. Football is a New Mexico passion, like putting Hatch Green Chile on eggs. This is especially so for high school football. Last week’s meeting of two Las Cruces high schools was held in the New Mexico State football stadium because about 25,000 fans always come to that game.
     Then the next day New Mexico State held their own collegiate football game with a crowd of about 10,000 fans. I am a fan of both high school and college football. So I enjoyed the Las Cruces High Mayfield game and then the NMSU/Boston College football game the next day. There was one thing I did not enjoy.
     During a call-in show that followed the Aggie game a listener questioned NMSU selling losses, indicating this practice was not appropriate. Selling losses means taking on national powerhouses for cash which the powerhouses gladly pay to have a week off from their grueling schedule.
     Powerhouse teams pay for a patsy to come get beat up while they rest. The patsy takes the cash and calls it good. The caller was told NMSU selling losses would continue a few more years with NMSU perhaps selling three losses next year for financial reasons.
     I have always opposed the ethically bankrupt practice of selling losses by NMSU. This has been for at least thirty years. In that time I have written dozens of columns of protest. Each time the answer is that NMSU just needs to do it another year or two. But that has turned into three decades of no success for the program.
     But, selling losses every year for thirty years has imperiled Aggie football and not brought any success to the program. It is insane to continue doing what has not worked. Football programs are judged by three criteria: win/loss record, attendance and Bowl Games. Selling losses loses in all three categories.
     NMSU holds the record for how long it has been since going to a Bowl Game. Several of the years that NMSU was selling losses would have been Bowl Game years but for those sold losses. Also know that NMSU did not sell any losses the years they went to the Sun Bowl or they would not have been invited. Read full column