No College Football Could Change Landscape of College Sports
Could we really be without college football in 2020? According to an article published by Mark Schlabach and Paula Lavigne on ESPN, college football as a whole is in danger of losing around an astounding $4 billion dollars.
If that were to come to fruition it has the potential to change the course of all college sports because the football programs for many schools bring in the majority of the money. The adverse effect on there not being a football season would end up as casualties for other athletic programs within certain Universities.
Two Universities who have already made the difficult financial decision to cut bait with programs have been Bowling Green and Furman (Billy Napiers Alma Mater).
On Monday at Furman, they announced that they were cutting baseball and men's lacrosse according to Matt Connolly of The State online.
As for Bowling Green they've also decided to cut their baseball program, a move that is said to save the University a half-million dollars on an annual basis. This news according to Kevin Reichard of Ball Park Digest.
Others that have cut bait with athletic programs according to the ESPN article have been, Cincinnati eliminating men's soccer, Old Dominion dropping wrestling, Central Michigan doing away with men's track and field, and Akron shutting down men's cross country, men's golf, and women's tennis.
In addition, the Mid-Atlantic Conference has announced that it will be terminating conference tournaments in eight different sports. According to another ESPN article by Andrea Adelson those eight sports being cut are field hockey, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis, women's lacrosse, softball, and baseball.
TCU's Athletic Director Jeremiah Donati had this to say via the original ESPN article, "If there's no football season, or if football season is interrupted or shortened, there will be a massive fallout. There would have to be massive cutbacks. Could the department go on? Sure. It would probably look smaller. There would potentially be fewer sports and much less programming."
Could there be a possibility that if the college football season can't be played on-time that it could be pushed back to the spring perhaps? Director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis Patrick Rishe believes that to be the case based on the financial setback not having a college football season would bring.
Just how much is football worth to certain Power 5 Universities? Apparently a whole heck of a lot according to Oregon State AD Scott Barnes.
"Anywhere from 75 up to almost 85% of all revenues to our departments are derived directly or indirectly from football. Indirectly, I mean sponsorship dollars, multimedia rights, and then you've got your gate, your donations, and whatnot. The impact of not playing a season is devastating. It would rock the foundation of intercollegiate athletics the way we know it. Frankly, I'm not trying to solve for that because it would be such a devastating circumstance that we'd almost have to get a whiteboard out and start over."
So, you see the numbers of the financial devastation not having college football would have on this season and you see the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic already affecting other athletic programs at various schools.
The bottom line is we have to ensure the safety of others before we can get back on the field, court, course, or whatever it may be depending on the sport. If the athletes, coaches, or staff can't stay healthy enough to perform then there will be no other choice than to completely eliminate a season and to cut many more programs.
Slow and steady wins the race, especially when we're fighting an enemy we can't see.