Ok, so college football is looking like it will be canceled in the fall of 2020 that’s a fact. So far the Big 10 and Pac 12 are the first “power 5” conferences to cancel. ost of the group of 5 conferences canceled too including the one nearest and dearest to my heart the MAC.
Three Conferences Yet to Cancel
There is something odd brewing though, the Big 12, SEC, and ACC have yet to cancel the season, but why? As it sits now the result seemingly obvious, this year’s college football season should not be played. So why are these conferences so admit about playing next year it’s very simple to let’s not kid around here. It’s about the money, throw politics, Trump’s plea for a season and the spirit of the game aside this is about one thing and one thing only and that’s money.
“That’s obvious,” you’re probably thinking right now and you’re correct it is but let’s examine how important the money from college football is. Did you know that college football grosses over three times more money are average for the top schools then college basketball does? In 2015, a study shows the top 30 Basketball programs in America average around 15 million dollars in revenue per year. The top 30 football programs in America average around 45 million per year. This difference is entirely because of the differences in TV money for sports.
Ok so now that we have that background knowledge, let’s do a simple case study, let’s say for instance the University Of Alabama, I choose Alabama for our experiment because they have become the poster child for the importance of Division 1 college football in the south. Ryen Russillo recently said on a podcast that if Alabama football opened it’s stadium tomorrow with no restrictions, there would be 100,000 people in the stands without question.
Alabama football generates around $170 million of which they net $77 million, the rest of their sports slate including college basketball actually lose money. This is true of a lot of the southern schools that fill their athletic slate with the money that is generated by college football. With no college football in the fall, these schools would be devastated financially that is a fact.
Nothing to Lose
So now that we know why they’re trying to do it let’s look at the cons for these conferences to cancel? Wait for a second, there aren’t any! Now, this is going to come across kinda nuts but hear me out on this. NCAA players are still in, and will forever be in a long ongoing battle to gain a legitimate union that provides them with the label of an employee for the school. We’ve all heard the term Student-Athlete. A term that was exists for the sake of not paying the players here’s why it’s even bigger now. The school’s aren’t liable! If a player gets sick from COVID-19, they legally have zero right to sue the school. Just as any other student doesn’t.
Would the southern conferences and the ACC take harsh criticism from the media and the public if something of that nature did happen? Of course, but unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of people would just be happy to watch college football on Saturday afternoon. The media backlash might not matter.
Is taking so much backlash worth the potentially millions of dollars not to mention athletic programs that it would save? In a word, probably.
But will this happen? I’ve laid out the case I understand the opinions on both sides. I personally would not even consider opening the college football season if I were in charge of these conferences. I also can not say that I do not get it!
So will it happen? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.