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ODU drops William and Mary from 2009 football schedule

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: June 29, 2008
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June 29, 2008

Fearing its young team wouldn't be properly prepared to take on an experienced squad like William and Mary in its second football game in the fall of 2009, the Old Dominion Monarchs opted out.

ODU athletic director Dr. Jim Jarrett confirmed Friday afternoon that the Monarchs will not play William and Mary in 2009 and will instead host the Tribe in 2010 in the schools' first meeting. The date of that game is still to be determined.

The contract for the 2009 game called for a $75,000 buyout. Instead, ODU found a suitable substitute opponent for the Tribe. William and Mary will instead host Central Connecticut State on Sept. 12, 2009, with ODU paying Central Connecticut State a $50,000 guarantee.

The Monarchs have also added three games to the growing slate for 2009, when they begin Division I-AA competition after nearly 70 years without a football squad. ODU will visit Virginia Military Institute on Nov. 21 to cap its 2009 season, will host North Carolina Central for its homecoming on Oct. 3, and will visit Savannah State on Oct. 24.

Jarrett said Friday that William and Mary athletic Terry Driscoll "was very helpful with us to try not to play that game" in 2009.

"It concerned everyone that we might not be ready," Jarrett said.

The Monarchs will play in 2009 with a lineup of mostly true freshmen and red-shirt freshmen and are allowed to bring in no more than 30 players a year on some type of scholarship, whether it be full or partial. That would limit ODU to 60 scholarship players come 2009.

Established Division I-AA programs normally carry 85 scholarship players, dividing 63 scholarships among those players. For William and Mary to have established fifth-year seniors facing off against, in some cases, true freshmen playing in only their second collegiate game would lend a decided advantage.

With the additions of the three games that ODU added, the Monarchs have announced a total of eight games for 2009.

ODU will open against Chowan on Sept. 5 and visit Jacksonville on Sept. 19, a game that had previously been targeted for Nov. 21.

In addition, the Monarchs will host Monmouth on Sept. 26, Presbyterian on Oct. 10 and Georgetown on Oct. 31.

Jarrett pointed out that the concession to line up Central Connecticut State for William and Mary saved the program $25,000 and said that the $50,000 guarantee will be made up from "gate receipts" and will not come from any student fees.

"This entire scenario is better for both them and us," Jarrett said.

Rich Radford, 446-2463 or rich.radford@pilotonline.com

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