So, even though I stopped the previews, I’m still throwing together all my spreadsheets that I’ll need for the season once it starts. That involves dumping each conference’s composite schedules, among other things.
And that’s when I noticed the insanity. I didn’t catch it at first when I did the Great American Conference preview, because Arkansas-Monticello and Southern Nazarene had the school listed under its old name of Shepherd Tech. But when I noticed that West Alabama was playing something called “College of Faith”, I had to look them up to see who the hell they were because I’d never heard of them before.
And that’s when I discovered “College of Faith” had games scheduled against Arkansas-Monticello and Southern Nazarene. So this must be Shepherd Tech (which two years ago had been Shepherd Film Academy). Teams have been scheduling this school the last couple of years to make up for holes in their schedule left by the closing of Lambuth University (which is now the Jackson campus of the University of Memphis). Last year, Harding clobbered them 70-0.
But wait! Digging deeper to see what the deal was here, I discovered that this is an unaccredited bible college. That’s nothing surprising; bible colleges often aren’t accredited, because all they offer is bible-related degrees. Indeed, most states give bible colleges a waiver to operate without accreditation so long as the only degrees they offer are theological. Not a problem.
But wait! Then I figured out that this is an online college. An online college with a $99 annual tuition.
Now, that led me to wonder how in hell an online college, which is not accredited, can possibly field a football team. And then I found this post on the VSN message boards (an NAIA forum), and oh lord. Seems MidAmerica Nazarene also had a game scheduled against College of Faith, but pulled out, partially in response to uproar about even playing this school.
And then, out of the blue, here comes the college’s president, posting a rather butthurt response to the thread defending his school… and, hey, look, I get it. You’re trying to get a school off the ground, and you’re proud of it, and… hey, maybe you shouldn’t be worrying about fielding a freakin’ football team when you don’t even have a campus!
No, I can safely say that in all my years of following college sports, I have never seen a situation as crazy as this. It’s absolutely insane. I mean, how do you even pull that off? How do you get your players to practice and games when they’re not tied to a location? I don’t even understand. What are we going to get next, the University of Phoenix deciding to start an athletic program? Hey, maybe they can get together with National American University and a few other online programs and save the WAC!