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Bison add Delaware State to 2013 schedule

FARGO -- North Dakota State is back at 11 games for next season with the addition of Delaware State to the football schedule.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponent will come to the Fargodome on Sept. 21. It comes after a bye week following NDSU's season-opening games at Kansas State and at home against Montana State. And it didn't come cheap for the NDSU athletic department, either, which is paying the Hornets a $200,000 total package guarantee that includes hotel rooms and charter flight, a figure that is on par with what NDSU paid Prairie View A&M (Texas) to come to Fargo last year.

"We have to pay for their travel 100 percent or else people won't want to get on an airplane," said NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor.

The Delaware State game replaces Western Carolina, which requested to play the Bison in a different year mainly because it is playing three Division I Football Bowl Subdivision teams next season. That matchup was switched to 2016.

NDSU gave Western Carolina the option to buy out of the game for $100,000 or have it moved, Taylor said. By contract, NDSU could have insisted on a buyout only. The new agreement calls for a buyout of $150,000, with it going to $250,000 if the notice is under a year.

Delaware State will be NDSU's second MEAC opponent -- the Bison defeated Morgan State (Md.) 35-9 in 2010. It gives the NDSU six home games, with the others being Missouri Valley Football Conference games against Missouri State, Illinois State, Northern Iowa and South Dakota.

The Hornets have won the MEAC four times and made the FCS playoffs in 2007, losing a first round game to Delaware. Bethune-Cookman got the MEAC automatic bid last year, losing to Coastal Carolina 24-14 in the first round. Delaware State was fourth in the conference and finished 6-5 overall.

Taylor reiterated NDSU's stance that it is going to play 11 games next year, not 12, which is allowed by NCAA rules because of the way the calendar falls.

"We're comfortable sticking with 11," he said. "Most of the teams that are playing 12 are playing a non-Division I game, of which we have no interest in."