And the beat goes on…
Meanwhile, Wisconsin joins the ranks of Clemson in asking donors to become part of something larger than themselves.
The Wisconsin Badgers are facing a critical financial challenge but we remain committed to our mission of achieving long–term excellence. If the football season is canceled, we are facing a revenue shortfall in excess of $100 million. In the best-case scenario where we’re able to complete a conference–only schedule with limited capacity at home games, we still stand to lose $60–70 million in revenue. Without financial support from our community, the experience we love as Badgers is at risk.
In order to emerge stronger than ever, we are calling our fellow Badgers, who have helped build this extraordinary legacy.
The Badger Legacy campaign aims to do just that: provide an opportunity for all Badgers to play a role in furthering the legacy of Wisconsin Athletics that has been built over many decades. We want to ensure we continue raising trophies, developing student–athletes that make us proud and we keep the world watching when we Jump Around.
… To directly fund our student–athlete services during these challenging times, we are providing season ticket holders the opportunity to reinvest their ticket and seat donation contributions. These resources will go specifically to support scholarships, training and a range of academic and athletic support services for the student–athletes we cheer every game day.
Do it for the kids, yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s evergreen bullshit.
Meanwhile, Larry Scott is busy propping up his conference’s finances.
The Pac-12 is planning a mammoth loan program that would provide an escape hatch for cash-strapped athletic departments in the event the football season is canceled because of coronavirus, according to internal documents and conference sources.
Football accounts for the majority of each department’s revenue, generating in excess of $50 million dollars in ticket sales and media rights alone.
The loan program would be large enough to cover that loss for each school, if needed:
According to a series of emails obtained by the Hotline through public records requests, the loan would provide a maximum of $83 million for each university at a rate of 3.75 percent over 10 years.
Each athletic department could decide whether it wanted to participate in the program.
If all 12 opted for the maximum amount, the total would be $996 million.
“The conference is trying to be nimble and give schools some options,’’ a source said.
The collateral for the loan is future television revenues.
The point isn’t to mock Scott for doing this — hell, it’s good business to save what you can for a better day — but to point out that, at least for P5 programs, the apocalypse probably isn’t upon us. And by that I mean the business model that they love isn’t going the way of the dodo any time soon. Not as long as they’re willing to do it for the kids, anyway.