The NFL will play football ,But OSU and College Football may delay, and OSHAA including Barberton HS may not play football.
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One of my hobbies has been football, all football but especially NCAA football and High School. And I am serious about my football. No Alcohol and in my seat an hour prior to kickoff to watch the opposing teams QB and Kickers. I have season tickets to High School and College football teams. The NFL holds less interest to me mainly because I am a Browns Fan.
The NFL will play this fall even without fans but College Football, even BSC Teams may not. And High Schools look like it will not play. Why the difference?
High School is easy. Parents. The safety of the Teenage athletes is the reason. If you are the OSHAA Commissioner or a School Superintend or School Board member, how can you allow football, soccer, or volleyball this fall? If a few students get Covid, Parent’s could demand that you are fired. School board members would face election removal. And one death would send the whole state in an up roar. But if OHSAA decides that High Schools will play and takes the heat, High Schools could play this Fall. Tennis, Golf or Cross Country can play. But team contact sports may not play.
The NFL has a commissioner to decide if all teams will play. Those states that prevent fans in the stands, will play with empty seats. The TV contract pays for the NFL. NFL Fans tickets are a smaller per cent of total revenue then College Athletics.
College Football season is not governed by NCAA but by the BCS.(Bowl Championship Football) . The BCS was formed in the 90″s to award more money from Bowl games to the 5 BCS Conferences: ACC, BIG10, SEC, BIG 12, and PAC 12. It is very successful as it disturbs record levels each year to all NCAA Football Conferences including DII AND DII. When Ohio State qualifies for a Major Bowl paying out 12 million or more per team, OSU receives expense money for the game but the major amount goes to the BIG10 Conference and it is split amongst all teams. The payout from the BIG10 was expected to reach 50 million per school. Covid may reduce this amount.
This is a major part of a schools athletic Budget, but for the biggest, like OSU, Michigan, or Penn State, it is about 50% or less. The rest is Ticket sales from Football, Seat license from football seats, donations tied to football, concessions sales, parking, and license agreements.
All these items pay for all the other sports with the exception of Mens Basketball. No other sport generates enough revenue to pay for the sports expenses. Some schools do not charge admission for some of the minor sports.
NCAA Football is ruled by the BCS. There is no one person to decide the issue of playing as in the NFL and High Schools. Each Conference Commissioner makes this choice. The SEC has stated it will play with those schools which open and 8 have stated it will have students on campus. They are prepared to adjust the schedule. The ACC and Big 12 expect to play. Only the BIG10 and PAC12 have not committed. The BIG10 office did say that it expects to play only if all 14 schools were participating. However, Penn State officials stated, for example, if Rutgers did not open campus and could not play, Penn State would play even outside the BIG10.
Recently, two state Governors have issued statements about their States Colleges and Football. California State University Systems will not have students on campus by order of the Governor. They will not play football. The second public school system, University of California is expected to follow. California State are teams in the Mountain West and FCS (Football Championship Series, often referred to as the sub-division which has a real playoff tournament.) U of California are, UCLA and U of California Berkeley, in the PAC12, and other FCS Schools. (ie. U of California-Davis, Santa Barbara )If the State of California does not play football, can the PAC12 play? Probably.
Michigan’s Governor, has stated that the large stadiums, Ford Field for the NFL Lions , The Big House for Michigan and Spartan Stadium for Michigan State and to a lesser degree the MAC Stadiums, will have restricted fan seating. And very restricted, with rumors at less than 20%. Families and major donors could be the only fans allowed in Michigan College Stadiums. Can the Schools afford to play football? Yes. But they can not afford to play all the other sports.
NCAA has a rule that a University to Play D1 has to have 16 sports (or 15 others sports if it plays football). Further, Title IX requires the same number of female sports and athletes. Five Conferences have already asked the NCAA to wave the 16 rule for next year. (WSJ) Other schools have already eliminated women and men sports for next year in excise of the 16. Ohio State and Michigan both field the largest collection of other sports teams. Only 28 DI sports programs make money or cover these sports expenses including tuition. (USA Today)
Tuition cost is not a real expense for a SchooL. It does not cost much more to add an extra seat in a class room. And today, most athletes during their season , take online courses. This is how baseball teams in the North spend 10-14 days at a time in the South during February and March. Most fans do not realize the College Baseball spring season started February 14th 2020. They had played games before the Stay at Home/ closing of schools.
Back to tuition. Take Michigan State Athletic Budget. They do not make money, but it is close. (it amazes me that except of the Michigan game, MSU does not sell out, including the last Norte Dame game.) The University transfers $1 MILLION from the general fund to MSU Athletic Dept. But this was to cover tuition. MSU Athletics pays the money back to MSU to cover tuition of minor sports scholarships.( Figures from USA-Today Public School Budgets)
So, if the only expense that a University General Fund has to cover is tuition , it is a very low affordable cost. Ohio’s state funded Universities gives free tuition to employees children. It is the same principle. It is the schools like the MAC which the General Funds cover Sports expenses , travel , and coaches salary that is expensive and they usually also charge a Student Fees dedicated to the Athletic Dept. This is a tax which students must pay to attend the school. Except for Ohio University, all the MAC schools charge this fee. (USA Today)
So will the Colleges play football. Yes, but when they play may change and how many other sports they field is uncertain . The Mac already announced only Basketball would have a post – season tournament at Quick Loan Arena. It will eliminate the 2 Division setup. The top 8 teams in Basketball will go to Cleveland for 4 games Thursday, 2 Friday, and the Championship Saturday. All other sports will only have a league Champion including Co-Champs. This includes football as the cost of Ford Field and travel is too expensive.
The BCS Football teams will play but MAY delay the season until as late as Spring. They can not afford to miss out on the Football Revenue from the in-game experience of high concession prices, parking fees, overnight parking fees, and license agreements for all those sweatshirts and hats. They will wait because of the other sports. No Football Fans in the Stadium, will force severe cuts in other sports programs.