By Claire Prudhomme
The Catholic University of America football team went with a plan to attack Georgetown football game and unfortunately came out as the attacked. Coach Mike Gutelius competed against Georgetown in his time playing for CUA and, after twenty-six years, he was back to coach this time.
Catholic held Georgetown 18-0 until the second quarter when Georgetown’s offense exploded, but the team did not stop its fight. In the third quarter, junior defensive lineman Jake Ballardon forced a fumble. Sophomore quarterback Devin Miles and Sophomore running back Pedro Garcia were able to move the ball to the 23-yard line in Catholic’s longest play of the game, but Miles was sacked on fourth down.
Sophomore linebacker Dieter Kerat finished the game with 10 tackles, junior quarterback Nick Gonzalez led the team with 60 all-purpose yards and junior wide receiver Trey Carson had seven receptions to end the game. Catholic ended the game with 72 total yards and 80 pass yards.
The other side of this game comes from the Athletic Department. This HOYA tournament has not been played in over twenty years, so why now? Georgetown seems to be following suit to other big football schools this season, playing a weaker team to open up their season. They select a team they believe they will beat and in turn, provide compensation to profit the losing team’s program.
Schools like Alabama and LSU pay teams ranked lower or in a lower division on their opening day to guarantee a win. In the Alabama versus New Mexico State game, the Aggies lost 62-10 but earned a guaranteed $1.7 million; in the LSU game, the Tigers beat Georgia Southern 55-3 but earning the Eagles $925,000.
The Athletic Director of Catholic University, Sean Sullivan, stated that Georgetown reached out to Catholic a little more than a year ago to schedule the game. This would help Catholic’s football team strive to play competitive teams at a higher level and the return of an in-town rivalry would help the recruiting process within the DMV area.
Rumors have been circling that CUA was paid to play in this game. Sullivan confirmed that the program received a “very modest guarantee” from Georgetown but declined to comment on the exact amount of money received from the deal.
“As you can probably imagine, we typically do not discuss specific numbers in terms of guarantees. I am not sure why there’d be student speculation, for, from our seat, this is a very common thing; a real non-issue and nothing very exciting.” Said Sullivan “Guarantees may, at times, be made public at the highest Division I levels, say Alabama paying a non-conference opponent to come and play at Alabama, but lower-level schools tend not to make such information public since we’re talking about very small, transactional amounts.”
Catholic will travel to North Carolina next Saturday, September 21 to take on Methodist from the USA South Conference. Kickoff is at 1 P.M.