Postponing College Sports Would Throw Colleges for a Loop

In America, the following of college sports is quite unique. Nowhere else in the world is school pride and athletics so intertwined that collegiate athletics becomes part of the fabric of everyday life. And the undeniable fact is that college football reigns supreme above all other sports in the collegiate world. However, given the advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci about resuming sports without fans, college football might be in a lot of trouble.

You see, for every college, football is what brings in the most profit, by far. In fact, for LSU, they made $56 million net profit off of college football, and just $2 million net profit off of college basketball and $564K off of college baseball. Every other sport operated at a loss, but all the losses were offset by the gains made by the football program. Now, if this were the NFL, that’d be ok. It would still hurt, but ticket sales only account for 15% of the NFL’s revenue margins as opposed to 65% in college.

This means that there’d be A LOT of financial hardship in colleges continued putting on football games. Now, it’s obvious that the big schools like LSU, Alabama and Ohio State would be fine. They’d borrow money and be able to pay it off in the years to come after the COVID-19 dust settles. But what about smaller schools like Boise State, Appalchian State, or UAB? They don’t have the financial muscle to make loans like that (certainly not UAB, who suspended and restarted their football program only a few years ago). What would happen to those schools?

At this point, the financial losses wouldn’t only impinge on the schools’ sports programs, but on the school itself. Many smaller schools don’t have enormous endowments like powerhouse schools like Michigan, Wisconsin or Penn State, but that would be where the money would have to come from. And needless to say, it would cause a problem.

With that in mind, this year’s college football season is going to look very interesting. In fact, I’d expect quite a few smaller schools to forgo playing this year in order to help curtail expenses. Needless to say, this year’s college football season will be unlike any other, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

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