A house divided

I touched on this a little the other day — how is college football going to deal with the likely possibility of uneven openings across the country?  Judging from Brett McMurphy’s latest survey, not very well.

Perhaps the most perplexing question regarding the upcoming college football season is what does a conference do if all of its member schools can’t return their students to campus in the fall?

“This is the piece that is perplexing us all right now,” a Power Five AD said. “Additionally, what if a political body in one state says [the schools in that state] can’t play?”

“We cannot afford for a few boats to sink the fleet,” added one Group of Five AD, who asked his fellow league members for recommendations in case the entirety of their conference wasn’t able to play.

The states of Florida, North Carolina and Texas each have schools from four different conferences, while California is the home to four Pac-12 schools and three Mountain West schools. This could impact both leagues since California’s governor and local officials have said it would be unlikely California could hold sporting events before Thanksgiving.

“This is a great question that we often get stuck on — and this could happen,” said a Group of Five AD. “Those that could return, need to go to start the process of getting back to normal. At some point, things will get back on track and if some can safely make it happen, this gives hope for others who can’t. It also puts pressure on those who stand in the doorway preventing economic recovery.”

Added another Group of Five AD: “I could definitely see scenarios where all but one or two schools [from a conference] are ready to proceed and a season is played without them. I think the Group of Five would follow the Power Five’s lead and the Power Five conferences would defer to the TV networks to determine which [schedule] is preferable.”

If a conference decides to play football this season, but certain league members aren’t able to play, how would the television revenue be divided?

“Those that don’t play probably won’t get their full share of media rights revenue,” a Power Five AD said.

Yet another athletic director thought those programs would receive their share of revenue.

“I believe so,” the AD said. “When those schools who do not go to bowl games, NCAA tournaments or field competitive teams, they still share in the revenue.”

“Would the decision to play in the fall change if the schools that couldn’t play were Alabama, Auburn and LSU, compared with Vanderbilt, Tennessee or Missouri?” asked one AD who does not represent an SEC school. “I hope not, but these are unprecedented times.”

Every asshole for himself, in other words.  Puts me in mind of one of my favorite Cheers quotes:

Can you imagine the political pressure that will be brought to bear in states with SEC schools where arena sports remain closed while other states within the SEC have opened arena sports?



Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

5 responses to “A house divided

  1. JasonC

    So you’re saying it’s about the money, specifically the TV money.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Macallanlover

    Interesting conundrum, and pretty likely to occur given the wide split between the extremes of how/when to wade into the water. There is no way all parties come to the same place in such a short period of time to have the season proceed as scheduled.

    If the TV contracts have a force majeure clause, and you would think they do, I believe there would be a new “temporary agreement” put in place based on what games are available. I don’t see whatever happens this season having the same value to networks or fans, so a new negotiated contract would be put in place and the current agreement set aside. We may have an “asterisk” season on our hands regarding all records, payments, and schedules.


  3. ASEF

    Thanks for that Cheers moment.

    Had totally forgotten it. 2020 in a nutshell


  4. Gaskilldawg

    Athletic Directors never do anything change my opinion that they are at best mediocre administrators.
    There is historical guides for college sport administrators that none ever act as if they are aware.

    In World War II some colleges could field teams and some couldn’t. I know that UGA was one of only about 5 SEC teams to play football and the SEC was z 12 member conference then. Likewise, other conferences and independents had to deal with disruptions in scheduling.

    While the WW II model won’t fit 2020 exactly it would give a framework for how to handle temporary life in conferences in which some teams are able to play and others aren’t.
    The clowns quoted in the article apparently never thought to look to recent history.


  5. Tony Barnhart

    This thing is tough from a contract standpoint but the answers are there logistically if people will pull their heads out of their asses.

    At this point, my view is to just embrace what will probably be a quirky year….maybe we see 2 editions of the iron bowl and egg bowl. That sounds fun actually….. hell send us to Statesboro or Alabama to Mobile (University of South Alabama, Sun Belt) if we can’t have fans and other games get cancelled…… let Tech play with the SEC for a year since many ACC states might be locked up (then we can have fun kicking their asses out again). I wouldn’t be totally dismayed if we came to realize that playing more people in your backyard is kinda fun and kinda the right thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person