Fresno State is calling its recent announcement to play Southern in football in 2025 a “historic” event considering it will be the first time the program has ever faced an HBCU.
And because SU’s Human Jukebox marching band is scheduled to appear with the team as well, Fresno State Athletics is on the hook to pay Southern a $550,000 guarantee, which is a premium for a mid-major program to pay.
The Fresno Bee reports, however, that Fresno State will take a creative approach to finance SU’s guarantee by making payments over a period of two years.
It will pay Southern half of that guarantee in 2023 when it is playing road games at Purdue for $1.3 million and at Arizona State for $1.1 million, and the other half of that guarantee in 2024 when playing at Michigan for $1.85 million and at UCLA for $1.2 million.
In 2025, when the game is played, Fresno State makes no payment to Southern and will basically have a free home game in a year the guarantee money coming in from road games will not be as high.
Payouts involving previously scheduled Fresno State games against FCS teams have ranged from the mid to upper $300K mark.
The Bulldogs this season will pay Cal Poly $390,000 for a Sept. 11 game, and in the past has paid Abilene Christian $350,000, Incarnate Word $375,000 and was going to pay Idaho State $350,000 last season before the game was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Southern’s Sept. 13, 2025 contest against the Bulldogs will mark the first time the team has played in California since the Jaguars faced Howard University on Sept. 2, 1990, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
“This is an exciting time for Southern University and our football program,” Southern University athletics director Roman Banks said in a statement. “When we recruit student-athletes to come to Southern we let them know they will have the opportunity to showcase their talents against some of the best competition in the country.