N.C. High Schools Ponder Football Endowment Games Due To New Rule

October 7, 2011 / Football

Put yourself in the shoes of a football coach or athletic director for a moment. It’s August, and the deadline is approaching to declare your endowment game.

Here are the stakes:

1. Twenty-five percent of the gross revenue from the game must be directed to the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s endowment fund, which is used to pay for catastrophic insurance. This is no different than before.

2. It must be a non-conference game. Again, no change from previous policy.

3. Here’s the twist this season: The game must be dropped from your win-loss record when it comes to playoff seeding. Teams are no longer allowed to wait until the end of the season and drop a loss.

So here’s the debate: Do you choose your toughest opponent as your endowment game, ensuring the game won’t count against your playoff record? Or do you think about the financial side of the issue, choosing the lowest expected crowd and therefore keeping 100 percent of the profit from highest-grossing games?

Some schools put more thought into the decision than others, but it will be interesting to see how the new endowment rule affects the playoffs in a few weeks.

Four area teams — East Lincoln, Hunter Huss, Lincolnton, Kings Mountain — will drop wins from their records when “Seeding Saturday” arrives Oct. 29.

Hunter Huss (5-2) went 4-0 prior to conference action but will have to drop its win against Concord, which the Huskies had already predetermined as their endowment game. The Huskies will be underdogs this week at Freedom, but that game will count toward Hunter Huss’ playoff seeding record no matter what happens.

As Kings Mountain (3-4) strives toward eligibility, the team members must realize they actually have only two wins under their belt. The victory against Alexander Central won’t help them when it comes to playoff seeding. That means they need two more wins over their final five games (vs. Ashbrook, North Gaston, Crest and Forestview).

Lincolnton (6-1), the state’s top-ranked 2A team, declared Forestview as its endowment game and rolled in the contest, 50-18. That means the Wolves’ only loss — 35-21 against South Point — will stay on their record and could cost them home field advantage in the playoffs. If South Iredell, for example, finishes the regular season undefeated, Lincolnton could wind up facing the Vikings on the road.

As for East Lincoln (3-4), the team opened the season with back-to-back huge wins against Newton-Conover and Hopewell, but the Newton-Conover win won’t count because it was the Mustangs’ endowment game. For seeding purposes, East Lincoln is currently 2-4 when adjusted for last week’s news of one forfeit due to an ineligible player.

In short, these four teams will earn lower seeds in the playoffs than they would have under the former rules.

Other area teams lost their endowment games, so the new rule doesn’t change their situation compared to years past. Five area teams — Ashbrook, North Gaston, South Point, Bessemer City, East Gaston — are playing only 10 games this season and will enter the playoffs with their actual records.

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