Next weekend marks a significant day in the history of Syracuse University athletics, when the field at the Carrier Dome becomes “Ernie Davis Legends Field.”
How about this mildly interesting throw-away line by SU:“The dedication of the football field is enabled by an amendment to the original Carrier Dome naming contract with Carrier Corp.”
Hmmm. As great as Ernie was and the powerful symbolism his Heisman still holds, this isn’t just about #44. There are multiple reasons why this could’ve happened.
1) The school is hurting for the money. There was a donation made for this to happen by two private individuals (Sam and Carol Nappi – more on them later) and it was an offer the athletic department could not turn down.
2) Carrier gets a cut of the cash. To amend the original contract, there must be something in it for Carrier. Doesn’t seem like the company would just willingly surrender full naming rights to one of the most famous on-campus arenas in the country without getting something in return (the Carrier Corp. could also be feeling a financial crunch and the rights deal now costs less).
3) The school wants to make it as difficult as possible for media.Now the place will be referred to as “Ernie Davis Legends Field at the Carrier Dome” every damn time. As part of WAER and Z89, FML.
Since the basketball court already has the Carrier logo emblazoned on either side, it’s a wonder where the name for the field will actually go in the dome.
Always have faith in Dr. Doom to put it somewhere obnoxious and obtrusive.
So who in the world are Sam and Carol Nappi?
Well, Sam Nappi is the founder and chairman of Alliance Energy, a bigtime moneymaking energy company. He rolls deep. This ’05 article gives a little more detail:
“Jamesville (Town of Pompey) businessman Samuel G. Nappi is chairman and sole le owner of Tulsa, Okla.-based Alliance Energy Group, LLC. Nappi’s company searches for oil and gas in Alaska and has been active in exploration on the state’s Kenai peninsula.
(Editor’s Note: This is looking better and better by the paragraph. Did he commission the Exxon Valdez or just the raping of the natural environment up there for a new time-share in Cozumel?)
Nappi also serves as president of Northstar Energy Group, Inc. According to Alaska corporation records, a majority of Northstar is owned by the CLJ Trust, registered to Nappi’s home in Pompey.
While not well-known in Central New York, Nappi is a friend to several political figures. Nappi and his wife Carol marched in the Presidential inaugural parade Jan. 20 as guests of U.S. Sen. Conrad Bums of Montana.The Alliance Energy Web site features a photo of Nappi and President George W. Bush.
His political contributions over the last few election cycles show him pouring tens of thousands of dollars into campaigns as well.
It’s obvious he’s got the cash, but why is he deciding to give it now?
Was this Nappi’s idea? The university’s idea? Is it because the school is looking for a check and wants to cash in on the recent Ernie Davis wave?
Lots of questions regarding this re-naming of the field. Hopefully some answers show up soon.