Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec isn’t saying what’s coming in response to the pandemic, he’s just sayin’.
What is an acceptable infection rate? That hasn’t been determined by the league, Schovanec said. Both Schovanec and Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt have discussed 20% as a possible number. Should 20% of a team test positive, that week’s game would be postponed, hypothetically.
That decision will not be made solely by the Big 12 presidents. “Deciding what is the critical threshold, the input of coaches and ADs is critical,” Schovanec said.
Football is critical to each school’s bottom line. Even Texas, with its budget of almost $225 million, needs football revenue from TV broadcasters and season ticket holders.
“Kirby and his team have done a lot of planning about the financial implications that we face,” Schovanec said. “What do we do if we have a reduced schedule? What do we do if we don’t have football? If we don’t play football, it will be difficult to have any sports.”
Asked if that meant from a medical standpoint or financial one, Schovanec said, “Both.”
Um, sure. I think the First Rule of College Athletics Administration applies here.
Schovanec said presidents are ready to let fall practice begin as scheduled on Aug. 7 and could still make a change.
All decisions will be made with student safety in mind, Schovanec stressed. Television money is not the driving force here, but Fox and ESPN pay the league based on an inventory of 57 games. A conference-only schedule is just 46. “You can’t ignore those facts,” Schovanec said.
When they say it isn’t about the money…