FAU needs USF's help in attendance
The NCAA's by-laws state that to remain in Division I-A, teams must meet minimum attendance requirements -- by averaging 15,000 people in actual or paid attendance per home game -- at least once in a rolling two-year period.
The NCAA has yet to boot any programs out of the I-A ranks for failing to meet that requirement, which is good news for Florida Atlantic, which has yet to reach that minimum, before or after moving up to Division I-A in 2004.
In fact, in 34 home games since 2001, FAU has topped 15,000 fans just three times: its first-ever game in 2001 against Slippery Rock, which drew 25,632 fans to Pro Player Stadium; Florida International in 2004 (16,262) and Oklahoma State in 2005 (16,421). Those figures represent announced attendances and not actual turnstile counts.
A study by the Indianapolis Star last October identified the schools falling under the NCAA's threshhold, listing Eastern Michigan as the only I-A school in the nation averaging fewer fans than FAU at the time.
A sellout against USF today (20,500 fans) would bring the 2007 average up to 14,219, but FAU would be hard-pressed to improve on that figure with its final two home games, against Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas State.
* FAU played in Pro Player Stadium its first two seasons before moving into Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale in 2003.