Florida Atlantic Athletic Director Pat Chun said he considers his counterpart at the University of Miami, Blake James, a friend. While the Owls and Hurricanes have been rivals on the field in various sports, from a business standpoint, Chun considers the Canes “partners.”
So he’s not willing to say Saturday is the end of the UM-FAU football series … but he does concede it’s the end of the series for the immediate future.
Saturday’s game at Hard Rock Stadium concludes a three-game series between the schools that netted FAU $1 million. FAU has working models of its football schedules through 2020, and even beyond that, rematches may be unlikely because FAU President John Kelly wants his school to cease scheduling guarantee games such as these.
“Our model has changed,” Chun said.
The Owls now want to assure they schedule six home games per year in their new stadium and build a winning program, he said.
“You look at all the guarantee games coach (Charlie) Partridge has had to play, it’s unfair to our student-athletes and it’s not fair to him,” Chun said.
Chun said he couldn’t specify what it would take to resume the series because the parameters resemble a Rubik’s cube, changing each season.
“You just go year to year to see what our needs are, where we need a home game,” Chun said. “Heck, when I got here, we were only doing five games (at home), which isn’t healthy at all.”
James and Chun said there’s informal dialogue between the schools. James echoed Chun’s phrasing virtually verbatim when he said, “Open to conversation, but it has to be something that works for both schools.”
UM first played FAU in August 2013, winning 34-6 before 50,151 in Miami Gardens.
“It was really great for the program to get additional coverage in this marketplace at a time that we desperately needed it,” Chun said.
Last September, UM traveled to FAU for a 44-20 victory before a sellout of 30,321.
“Last year was one of those seminal moments in campus history: to have our first-ever sellout, to have one of the pre-eminent brands on college football, the Hurricanes,” Chun said.
Palm Beach Post staff writer Matt Porter contributed to this story.