Every day it seems that there is another college conference cancelling or postponing their fall seasons for the 2020 school year. We already saw the spring seasons of 2020 destroyed by the coronavirus and all the fall out associated with it. We were all hopeful that some time would help us sort out the solutions to allow college sports to get going again in the fall but we all see now that we were all hoping for a win over a very tough opponent.
Football is the wild card that appears to be fighting against the grain in an attempt to keep their season afloat for the fall season. Football at the Power 5 level is also a wildcard because there is no one person or group that has control over what they do. The NCAA controls FCS football, it controls Division II football and it controls Division III football, but the big schools are their own bosses and really don’t have to answer to anyone.
Big-time football is the “golden goose” for all college athletics. The amount of money it generates and the impact it has on college campuses all over the country is almost impossible to measure. Recently, Barry Alvarez, the Athletic Director at Wisconsin, talked about how their school was going to lose at least $60 million if they play a limited schedule and as much as $140 million if they cancel the football season entirely.
If the “golden goose” stops laying its eggs, all of college athletics will change. Programs will be dropped, athletic departments will go out of business, even some colleges and universities will go out of business completely.
Much of the doom and gloom started off as pure speculation, but with schools like Stanford making drastic cuts to their athletic departments when they have a huge endowment and the kind of success that would make them seem untouchable it is clear that there there is smoke there is fire.
How big will the fire get? Will it impact softball? How many athletes in college now or hoping to be collegiate athletes in the future will be impacted?
College athletics is at a crossroads and there are a lot more negatives than positives. College sports will survive, but the post-coronavirus world will be a whole lot different than what we had before March 2020. There will be less programs, less scholarships and less opportunity than we had a very short time ago.
Be hopeful, but be realistic!