After their groundbreaking season last year, Lipscomb men’s basketball team is scheduled to play the Louisville Cardinals in a paid non-conference game on December 12 at the KFC Yum Center.
Lipscomb’s Athletic Director Philip Hutcheson said that the basketball schedule has not been released due to contracts waiting on finalization. However, the Louisville Cardinals 2018-2019 schedule has been released and features the Bisons for a guaranteed game.
“A lot of Division I schools are trying to find good competition in their non-conference schedule to play,” Hutcheson said. “We were both looking for a game on the same day and worked it out.”
The men’s basketball team has gained a lot of attention this past season after making it into the NCAA tournament for the first time in history. In playing Division I teams like North Carolina and Louisville, the players have a chance to gain exposure and show that Lipscomb is a competitive team.
“They are a well-known program, and they have a great fan following,” Hutcheson said. “If we can go up there and win, that would be a great promotion for our program.”
According to the athletic department, the reports speculating Lipscomb will receive over 250 thousand dollars for this game are inaccurate, stating that non-conference games usually range around 80-100 thousand dollars.
Lipscomb Athletics is unable to release the amount of money the department is being paid. However, according to the Louisville Courier Journal report, the Cardinals will be paying a total of 270,000 to play three different non-conference games this season, including Central Arkansas and Kent State.
“It not only helps basketball, but it helps us to be able to support all of our other programs,” Hutcheson said. “We have 17 Division I sports and almost 300 athletes, and those kind of games are great at generating revenue.”
The athletics department plans on using the money for traveling, training, facilities, insurance, officials and other athletic expenses.
Along with the monetary benefits from the non-conference game, the Bisons also have a chance to continue their success from last season and show that they can hold their own against Atlantic Coast Conference teams.
“The players are always excited to play these kind of games,” Hutcheson said. “When we play, we intend to win every game we play. With some of our players being from that area and having a team with a lot of experienced players, they are up for the challenge.”
Photo courtesy of Lipscomb Athletics