The news today that Division III football players won’t be able to participate in the Aztec Bowl this season only drives home more strongly the point that Division III football should have its own All-Star game.
The Aztec Bowl has been fine in a lot of ways. Sure, we wish it gave more players the chance to participate, or that it were held in a place that we could get to, or that it didn’t coincide with the Stagg Bowl or the playoffs, but it did provide three things: organization, funding and a ready-made opponent (the Mexican college league’s champion).
But after ONEFA dropped the ball, we can’t expect the AFCA to be left holding the bag for another $50,000, considering that would double what they already spend. I’m convinced we could do it cheaper, and I know we could do it better, here at home.
Why should we spend all the money it takes to fly people to Mexico and deal with all the administrative hassles required in crossing the border, etc.? Why should we tell seniors who play on the Stagg Bowl teams, or sometimes the semifinal teams, that they can’t play because Mexico schedules the game when it’s convenient for them?
For the vocal minority that insists the Stagg Bowl should be played in a warmer climate, here’s your chance. Let’s put the All-Star game in a warmer climate, scheduled after the Stagg Bowl, and see how it draws. Let’s give 96 seniors the chance to participate instead of 48.
And meanwhile, let’s find that all-important $100,000. Unfortunately, that’s a significant amount of money, far more than D3sports.com’s annual budget. (That’s why we all work full-time jobs.) But if scheduled in the right location, I think we can get it done.