Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy took to Twitter on Monday offering to pay for a potential bowl game to host the Army football team in the aftermath of the postseason snubbing of the 9-2 Black Knights.
Portnoy tweeted on Monday morning "I will pay for the bowl if somebody has the nuts to play Army", and then later that afternoon doubled-down on the emphatic guarantee when he tweeted "Any stadium that will host this game has a title sponsor."
Portnoy was retweeting a tweet made by the official account of the Army football team quoting the school’s athletic director, Mike Buddie, as Buddie made a powerful statement on Army's bowl snub:
‘These young men haven’t quit all year and surely won’t quit now. They deserve better. Period. They have earned an opportunity to get 10 wins and, as we have all year, we will continue to fight to get them that opportunity.'
Army was originally scheduled to play in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana on December 26th but the game was later canceled after bowl organizers couldn’t find Army an opponent to play. Seven Pac-12 schools, six ACC schools, and two Big Ten schools, most notably, have already chosen to end their seasons and not pursue bowl games in the coming weeks because of COVID-19.
Barstool Sports had actually made a major push to sponsor a bowl game last year in Mobile, Alabama, dubbed the ‘Barstool Sports Bowl’, with Barstool CEO Erika Nardini even claiming that the NCAA had signed off on the idea, but alleged that the deal was nixed when ESPN pressured the NCAA to refuse partnership with the polarizing media company.
College football fans and media members alike were naturally shocked when it was determined that 9-2 Army wouldn’t play in a bowl game, yet 2-8 South Carolina, a team who has been outscored by 125 points this season, would.
Army head coach Jeff Monken joined The Dan Patrick Show on Monday saying he was ‘disappointed’ in the way many programs pushed this idea of playing ‘anytime, anywhere’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic this fall, and yet then those same schools were the first ones to decline bowl invitations.
Portnoy’s Army football tweet comes days after he launched a $500,000 fund to help small businesses stay afloat during the strict government lockdowns that were just assessed in many major cities the past few weeks, including in New York City where indoor dining has now been banned altogether, putting many in the restaurant industry on the brink of extinction.