A look at what IU basketball is paying for each of its non-conference “guarantee” games
“Guarantee” games are a staple of college basketball.
Also known as “buy games,” power conference schools pay schools from the mid or low-major level for a home game with no return game as part of the agreement.
For the power conference school, it’s an opportunity to fill out the home non-conference schedule with forecasted wins. And for the smaller schools, the check attached to the game provides a significant funding boost to the program.
For the most part, Indiana has avoided losing “guarantee” games.
Back in 2017-18, Archie Miller’s first season, the Hoosiers lost a buy game to Indiana State 90-69 to open Miller’s tenure. Back in November of 2014, Indiana lost a buy game 88-86 to Eastern Washington at Assembly Hall.
Indiana’s 2022-23 non-conference schedule has seven “guarantee” games along with two exhibition games where the athletic department is paying the opponent for the contest.
They are, as follows:
• Marian University, Oct. 29
• Saint Francis, Nov. 3
• Morehead State, Nov. 7
• Bethune-Cookman, Nov. 10
• Miami (OH), Nov. 20
• Little Rock, Nov. 23
• Jackson State, Nov. 25
• Elon, Dec. 20
• Kennesaw State, Dec. 23
According to data published by Andy Wittry, the most common guarantee is $90,000 and the Big Ten “leads all conferences nationally in buy game host percentage.”
Via game contracts obtained via an open records request, here is what Indiana is paying for each contest on its 2022-23 non-conference schedule:
• The contract with Marian University for an exhibition will pay $30,000.
• The contract with Saint Francis for an exhibition will pay $15,000.
• The contract with Morehead State for the season opener will pay $100,000.
• The contract with Bethune-Cookman will pay $105,000.
• Indiana signed an agreement with bdG Sports for a three-game multi-team exempt event. The three games in the event are Miami (OH), Little Rock and Jackson State. Indiana will pay a total of $270,000 for the three games.
• The contract with Elon will pay $95,000.
• The contract with Kennesaw State will pay $95,000.
On average, Indiana will pay $95,000 for each of its seven “guarantee” non-conference games this season.