Back in May, it was reported that shipping giant FedEx would be giving up title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl, seemingly unwilling to cough up the $20 million it would take to remain associated with that particular BcS game.
With that money freed up, the Memphis-based company is apparently willing to do what most people would do with millions of dollars burning a hole in their pockets: buy their hometown school a place in a BcS conference.
According to CBS Sports.com, FedEx CEO Fred Smith — whose son Cannon is a quarterback at the school — has made it it known to various conferences that his company would be willing to ship up to $10 million annually to their athletic coffers if they were to add Memphis to their BcS clique.
Seriously, that’s the report.
“It could be $10 million every year for a conference to use however it sees fit,” said one of the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “When you think of the big picture, it could be the equivalent of a five-year, $50 million contract or a 10-year, $100-million contract. Fred is talking about a massive amount of money. …
“The money that used to go to the Orange Bowl is now set to go to a league that will invite Memphis. Fred has made it clear he’ll put that money back into the budget for the right league. He’s driving this thing.”
If the Big East were to see one or more of its current members picked off by the Big Ten, they could certainly be in the market for a school that has a booster willing to cough up eight figures annually for a decade or more. Another conference not mentioned in the article but would most certainly be in play would be the ACC, a league that could be looking for a member or two or three if the SEC catches the expansion bug.