Daily Archives: July 10, 2020

I see them long hard times to come

I’ve had a few questions about the financial impact of a college football shutdown/season without fans on the local economy and have been looking for answers.  The best I’ve found so far (h/t) comes from a college professor of economics who published this in Forbes:

Complete Cancellation:

… The total local effects differ widely between a relatively small community like Auburn, Alabama and larger places like Austin, Texas or Columbus, Ohio because of differences in the amount of additional local spending on game weekends and the size of that spending relative to the size of the local economy. Using average estimates of both the direct impact of the lost revenue along with the ripple effects using Bureau of Economic Analysis “multipliers” for this kind of activity, the total impact is about 1.7 times the size of the lost revenue. For the local areas with the very top revenue-producing programs the total loss amounts to about $250 million ($150 million x 1.7) and about $140 million for areas with programs earning $80 million per year. Those are not huge numbers for larger areas but a big blow to smaller college towns.

No Fans Allowed:

If fans are excluded from games but a full slate of games is played, the impact on university revenue would be similar to the 8-game outcome. About 30% of revenue for top-tier programs comes from ticket sales. With additional revenues from concessions and merchandise, somewhere around 35% of normal revenue would be lost. However, this scenario has a larger impact on the local area because of the lack of spending in local businesses by fans attending games. There is also the possibility of no fans allowed and a shortened schedule. The combined effect would be something like a 66% reduction in normal revenue.

Exactly whose paycheck is impacted depends on choices made by universities. Head coaches and main assistants will continue to get paid, although there may be some that agree to a salary reduction. On the other end, local businesses will lose out on the revenue and some temporary staff hired for game days will lose those jobs…

Now, how much you have to discount because, generally speaking, most people aren’t flocking to bars and restaurants at present (certainly not as they were in pre-COVID days, anyway) I can’t say, but it wouldn’t account for all of those numbers.  In other words, the loss won’t be pretty for Athens’ businesses and their employees.

172 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The Body Is A Temple

Your Daily Gator is in a dark place.

Swear to Gawd, these people sound so much like we did years ago, it’s almost scary.

21 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators...

More and more, it’s looking like…

Jamaree Salyer will be this year’s starting offensive left tackle.

16 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

TFW you’re not totally sold on the Portal Master™

Screenshot_2020-07-10 Ari Wasserman on Twitter Tyreak Sapp, a top-100 player and a Florida commit, has just released a top [...]

It’s rare to see me root for Georgia Tech, but if Geoff Collins managed to pull this kid away from the Gators, I sure wouldn’t complain.

10 Comments

Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Life on the plantation

Easily the most towering line of bullshit yesterday came from Ohio State’s Gene Smith, who apparently said with a straight face, “I just want to give our kids a chance to play.”

Right, Gene.  That’s why we saw all those stories yesterday about how you and your fellow people in charge spent time discussing the change with college athletes before the announcement.

That being said, if they’re going to be their usual paternalistic selves, at least Bob Bowlsby (!) came up with a rationale for the schedule reduction that actually does show some consideration for their charges.

“The only advantage to [a conference-only schedule] is you can spread the games out over more weeks,” Bowlsby said. “It doesn’t mean you’re going to start your schedule the first week of October. You’re going to try to start it on time and spread it out so you have more time to recover and more time to get over outbreaks…”

Of course, he said it in the context of his complaint about the Big Ten getting out ahead of things, so don’t give him too much credit there.

7 Comments

Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, The Body Is A Temple

Around the horn, non-conference play edition

A quick roundup of where the Big Ten’s peers stand on the subject of non-conference play:

  • The SEC is planning a face-to-face meeting between Sankey and the 14 ADs next Monday.  While the original plan may have been to take the temperature in the room on a general course of action, it’s not much of a stretch to expect those plans have changed.
  • According to Dan Wetzel, the Pac-12 and ACC will reportedly soon follow the Big Ten’s course of action.
  • “In fact, Bowlsby was a bit perturbed that the Big Ten announced it will move to a conference-only schedule in 2020 if it plays college football at all this season. The league made that decision after the FBS commissioners met by phone Thursday morning.”
  • Will nobody think of Notre Dame“The most likely and expected scenario there would be for Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and ACC commissioner John Swofford to extend their partnership and have the Irish fill the rest of their schedule with ACC games. Notre Dame is set to play six ACC opponents already.”

17 Comments

Filed under College Football

Can you say “force majeure”, boys and girls?

I thought you could.

The Big Ten Conference’s announcement that its schools are limiting any fall sports competition to games against conference opponents will have financial ramifications not only for Big Ten schools, but also for schools across the country – especially in the Mid-American Conference.

Big Ten football teams had been scheduled to play 33 non-conference games at home. USA TODAY Sports has been able to obtain contracts for 26 of those games – and they had been scheduled to have total payouts to the visiting teams of nearly $22.2 million. That figure includes payouts connected to single, one-off games and games that were to be parts of series.

Most of this money was headed to schools in conferences outside the Power Five – schools that could be significantly impacted by the loss of revenue…

What could become an issue, however, is whether the language of the various contracts will result in the games being canceled with no payment due, or whether the Big Ten schools will have to either make payments for canceling the games or make arrangements for a future game.

For example, Ohio State’s contracts with Buffalo and Bowling Green state: “If it becomes impossible to play the football game for reasons of power failure, strikes, severe weather conditions, riots, war, or other unforeseen catastrophes or disasters beyond the control of either party, this Agreement may be terminated by either OSU or the Visiting Team, the football game shall be cancelled, and neither party shall be responsible to the other for any loss or damage.”

It would seem that the pandemic would qualify as a disaster “beyond the control of either party,” but there potentially is room for interpretation.

Er, did you say “room for interpretation”?  We know what that means — mid-major schools may get screwed financially, but their lawyers will make out just fine.

17 Comments

Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

“This is why the committee has 13 football experts…”

I am sure it is tempting to view the Big Ten’s decision to jettison non-conference play as some sort of apocalyptic decision that will lead to the end of college football as we currently know it, but Occam’s razor suggests that it’s more of a short-term move to get through a troubling year with as much of a season on the brink left intact as the suits can manage.

And let’s not forget it might not work.

Anyway, the most revealing comment from yesterday was this:

The Big Ten has yet to decide how many conference games it will play this season, or how it might determine its champion if the season is disrupted, but Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Thursday that he had hoped for a 10-game schedule. The conference is expected to announce more details next week, Smith said.

When asked Thursday if there was an effort to get every conference to agree to play the same amount of games to help the CFP system, Smith, a former selection committee member, said, “That’s no longer a concern of mine.”

Maintaining the trappings to make a playoff that generates a whopping amount of revenue sound legitimate is no longer a concern for Gene Smith?  Yeah, I’d say that constitutes what survival mode sounds like.  They’ll take what they can get now and worry about the consequences later.  Bill Hancock already sounds like a guy who’s been given his new marching orders.

“Clearly there will be challenges this year,” Hancock said. “We’ll see what the challenges look like and work through them. Whatever the season looks like, the committee will select the best four teams using the protocol. Our committee’s fundamental mission has not changed.”

4 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

You know things are getting weird when…

this guy sounds like the brightest person in the room.

“Way too early to comment on anything,” UGA athletic director Greg McGarity told the AJC. “Have to learn more.”

He’s right, you know.  At the moment, his conference is flailing in fourteen different directions (well, 20, if you want to get technical about it).  Hell, Mizzou’s AD says the SEC is considering adding more conference games if it sheds its non-conference matchups.  While you may think that’s great from an entertainment standpoint, the underlying rationale leaves something to be desired.

Screenshot_2020-07-10 Dave Matter on Twitter Sterk says rationale for playing conference-only schedules comes down to comfo[...]

A “wider range”, eh?  Welp,

Screenshot_2020-07-10 Dayne Young on Twitter If the SEC went conference only schedule, Georgia would be cancelling a game w[...]

Like I said, Greg McGarity sounds pretty sharp right now.

18 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football

All together now

Matt Hinton has been one of my favorite college football pundits for a long while, but this take…

Screenshot_2020-07-10 Matt Hinton on Twitter Today more than ever the absence of a central brain in college football only h[...]

First off, who’s he got in mind?  The NCAA, as my last post indicates, is a complete joke in the absence of any maintain the financial status quo issue.  If he had the responsibility, Mark Emmert wouldn’t know what to do with it.

But really, this take — and I saw it quite a lot yesterday from a variety of sources I respect — ignores one basic thing about college football.

Screenshot_2020-07-10 Asst to the Minister of Culture on Twitter Today is exposing the way people still think of college fo[...]

It’s not built for that. It never has been.  The main reason people think it is stems from the push from ESPN and other places to remake the sport’s passionate regional appeal into something blander, but more broadly based in a national perspective.

I’ve said it before, but unlike professional sports, college football isn’t a monolithic structure.  The P5 conferences, as yesterday’s decision by the Big Ten illustrated, are independent organizations that sometimes compete and sometimes cooperate with each other.  And their commissioners aren’t giving up their power for a sport czar.

That’s part of college football’s freakish charm, even if moments like the current one are a stress test.

5 Comments

Filed under College Football