College Football Powers Are Canceling Games. Small Programs Are Feeling the Pain.
By: Alex Oh
As concern over the coronavirus continues to grow, college football powers, more specifically the Big Ten and Pac 12 conferences, are cancelling non-conference football games for the season. The result: many of the smaller, “money-strapped” conferences in FBS are now taking a hit.
With the cancellation of many big games against big-name opponents, these smaller schools in lesser-known conferences are having to face “major holes in their budget,” compounding the problem of budget cuts that many athletic departments are already facing because of the pandemic. But it doesn’t stop there. Independent schools that are not associated with a particular conference are having their games cancelled as well. According to the Wall Street Journal, Brigham Young has had five games cancelled by Friday.
One of the many schools impacted by these circumstances is Bowling Green. According to the Wall Street Journal, the team lost a game with the Big Ten’s Ohio State and Illinois. Because of this, of the $24 million planned in the athletic budget, a total of $2.2 million will be lost. While it is possible for Bowling Green to find another opponent, the game won’t be as big and the paycheck for the visiting team will likely be low. Furthermore, because of the pandemic, the number of fans at the games will be severely limited, lowering the paycheck a host team can offer a visiting team like Bowling Green. “Schools I’ve talked to, their stadiums can only be at 25-50% capacity, so it’s not like they’re going to offer the same money as they were at capacity,” Moosbrugger, the athletic director at Bowling Green, said.
Some of the other notable schools with cancelled games include BYU, Arkansas State, and Kent State.