The Effects of College Football's Disappearance

By: Jonathan Xu

College sports have all taken a huge toll recently due to the raging coronavirus pandemic. College football, specifically, has seemed to almost disappear completely from the schedule of college sporting events. The already devastated budgets of college conferences and programs are now even more deficient.

After the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences have postponed the entire fall football season, many colleges have had to make some serious adjustments. Already in a horrible financial position, many colleges and universities have had to lay off many staff members. Some have had to eliminate entire teams, as is the case at Stanford University, which cited financial strain from before the pandemic, and only made worse by the situation.

Stanford continued to announce that in order to make up for its $25 million budget deficit out of its almost $120 million budget, it would have to cut a total of 11 varsity sports by the end of the calendar year. This has been a devastating blow to the sporting community as a whole and not just the college football community.

Stanford is not the only institution that is making changes because of the current situation. The Oregon Ducks, the reigning Pac-12 champion, has made for an unprecedented drop in revenue for all of its players and staff.

So far, it is estimated that the Ducks have lost about $50 million of their original $130 million budget for the upcoming year. This amount could very easily rise to $80 million if games are still on halt in the spring.

Less notable football associations like the Arizona Wildcats have been hit even harder by the financial catastrophe brought upon them by the pandemic. Without the games in the coming school year, the Wildcats could lose a whopping $65 million of their $94 million athletics budget.

The reason behind such high amounts of budget losses is because smaller colleges like the University of Arizona make most of their revenue through lucrative broadcast, which will not happen without the football season.

The complete postponement of the major conferences of Pac-12 and the Big Ten was a hard decision to make, and has greatly affected hundreds of different associations, teams, and other conferences. Whether there will be a football season in the spring may determine whether some of these programs will last. Or not.

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