The Giants of College Football Cancel Games, Causing Smaller Programs to Lose Their Income
By: Jonathan Xu
Two of the Power 5 conferences, Big Ten and Pac-12, have decided to cancel all non-conference football games for the coming season. These decisions to stop these non-conference games have heavily impacted many of the smaller conferences at the “bottom half of the FBS” financially.
The smaller athletic departments have been receiving cuts in funding due to the pandemic, and one of their main methods of profit are the lucrative games against the major-conference teams. Now, with the non-conference games canceled, the schools’ athletic departments were hit extremely hard. Even the schools that are not directly connected with any conferences took a devastating blow, as teams like the Brigham Young had 5 games canceled by the end of the next day (after the day of the decision). Following the Big Ten’s decisions, the Pac-12 had canceled all non-conference games as well. Together, the two conference giants caused BYU to lose almost half of its entire 2020 season (and revenue).
The Bowling Green Falcons, the college football team of the Bowling Green State University, have already lost 2 of their most important games in the coming fall season, the Big Ten’s Ohio State and Illinois. The two games that were canceled were estimated to bring in about $2.2 million in revenue, which was included in their $24 million budget for the forthcoming year.
These are not the only problems faced by athletic departments throughout the country. Many of their games were expected to have a high capacity of spectators, but during the time of uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, the stands could only be 25%-50% capacity, that is if the spectators are even allowed to attend. Following Big Ten and Pac-12’s announcements, a plethora of schools and teams have begun cutting their annual athletics budgets, like Kent State, which is in the process of cutting their $30 million budget by 20%.
Although this decision was intended [by whom] to be for the best (to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus), it has left many sports programs as well as school athletic departments reeling in shock due to how much they will lose.