Friday, July 23, 2010

Duke refuses to move Alabama game, even for $2 million

Big-time college football programs often “buy out” games against smaller schools, paying them to play the game elsewhere. And so the University of Alabama approached Duke about moving their Sept. 18 game from Wallace Wade Stadium to perhaps Charlotte or Atlanta.

Duke’s answer? No chance.

Devils coach David Cutcliffe told Capital Sports he didn’t blame Alabama for trying.

“Why wouldn’t you want a home-game atmosphere for yourself?” Cutcliffe said. “[Athletics director] Kevin White and I never budged. This game belongs in Durham.”

One source told Capital Sports that Alabama offered $2 million to move the game, a figure Cutcliffe didn’t deny. And Duke has sold games in the past, moving home games with Florida State in the 1990s to Orlando and Jacksonville.

Duke has little chance of beating Alabama, so playing it in Charlotte would have netted the school a major chunk of change. But Cutcliffe said he thought selling the game would send a bad signal.

“That’s short-term thinking,” he said. “We’re here to build a program.”

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