Football will be played. Because if it isn’t, everything will crumble.
In a new story for ESPN.com, Dr. Patrick Rishe, director of the sports business program at Washington University in St. Louis, projects “astronomical financial implications” if universities can’t get football players on the field to make them money. He says the athletic departments may not have a choice, financially, with a collective loss of more than $4 billion in football revenue for the Power 5 conferences.
Oregon State’s AD thinks it’ll be so bad, “we’d almost have to get a whiteboard out and start over”:
“Anywhere from 75 up to almost 85% of all revenues to our departments are derived directly or indirectly from football,” Oregon State athletics director Scott Barnes said. “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.”
The story also suggests major media companies like ESPN, with big media rights contracts that pay these universities, have an out in their contract if the content well dries up, which would mean an even bigger hit to school bank accounts. ESPN declined to comment in this story that was written and published by ESPN. I found that funny.
To learn more about how awful things will get if football isn’t making bank, read the entire thing here.