Report: Power Five athletic departments could lose an average of nearly $80 million without college football
We already know that the prospect of not having a college football season in 2020 would have significant financially consequences for athletic departments across the country. Just how catastrophic those numbers would be, though, haven’t really surfaced.
A report from USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz shows just how much money could be lost without having a college football season. Berkowitz estimated that an average of $78 million could be lost among Power Five programs alone, combining for a grand total over around $4.1 billion. Per the report, it’s over 60 percent of the combined annual operating revenue totals.
Revenue from football tends to support several other sports on campus, so if the season was to be canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 there would be a good chance that athletic departments starting slashing those sports.
The University of Cincinnati was one of the first to take a step in that direction, opting to discontinue to the men’s soccer program. In a statement, athletic director John Cunningham said it “was a difficult decision, but one made with the long-term interests of UC Athletics at the forefront.”
Decision-makers in college football are currently brainstorming several different options with the 2020 season, should the pandemic impede on the original kickoff dates. Because football is such a prominent money-maker, the NCAA, conference commissioners and athletic directors will do everything possible to ensure there’s a season.