To say that college athletics revolves around money would be to state the obvious. College athletics is a billion dollar industry. Once again, not a shock to anybody that pays attention to college sports. The difference this year will be the amount of money that gets handed out by the NCAA to it’s representative schools.
College athletics were proceeding along just great all year. Then COVID-19 hit. Sports came to a grinding halt. When that happened the amount of money that was being collected by the NCAA with conference basketball tournaments and the NCAA Tournament was cut tremendously.
Looking back on the college sports calendar this year it is a good thing that college football happened. Let’s face facts. College football funds most of the other college athletic programs. Football reigns supreme in this country both with fans and economically for the NCAA.
However, for the NCAA to have to cancel The Big Dance for the both the men and women was a major blow to the economics of college athletics. That event generates nearly all of the $1.1 billion annual revenue that the NCAA collects during the year.
Payouts to the NCAA Division 1 conferences and schools is going to be cut by approximately $375 million dollars. The amount of money doled out this year will be $225 million.
What does this mean for the schools?
It means that the checks that the NCAA will be handing out are going to be significantly less than usual. Some AD’s are expecting a cut of at least 60%.
The impact that each school feels depends on the conference that they are in. Some of the money goes straight to the schools. Most of the money goes right to the conferences where it’s divided up in the conferences revenue sharing agreements.
If, for some reason, that college football is not played or even delayed then it’s a totally different scenario. Many conferences have money in reserve to help out in difficult times, but not playing football would be deadly to most schools.
The Alabamas, Clemsons, and Ohio States of the world might be able to absorb this type of cut in revenue, but for the majority of schools it’s going to be a hit that will sting. The loss of revenue in Corvallis, Tucson, or Pullman is going to be jolt to the system that’ll make it difficult to do what they normally do. Cuts to the schools budgets will have consequences down the line.
Since everything was cancelled for the spring seasons the NCAA gave those senior athletes the ability to come back for an additional year of eligibility. While this gave the NCAA a much needed public relations win it also states that the school doesn’t have to give that scholarship back to that player. The school in essence can simply move on from that player.
By doing this the NCAA passed on the responsibility from them to the individual schools. The buck was passed.
It completely creates a disadvantage for the athletes. Once again, losing this amount of revenue has its repercussions. With no cash to fund these scholarships it’s a mandate with no bite behind it.
Both the schools and the athletes would benefit if the NCAA simply mandated that these scholarships be funded. It seems like a simple thing to mandate, but we are dealing with the NCAA.
Common sense be damned.
College athletics is about the money make no mistake about it. Tough decisions will have to be made by conferences and schools with less money floating around. Those decisions will directly affect many lives of young athletes and in a negative way.
Lets hope the negative part doesn’t play out to the extent that I believe it might.