Category Archives: It’s Just Bidness

And the bloodletting begins

I doubt this is a canary in the coal mine, because it feels too inevitable for that.

More to come.

By the way, and I almost hate to be the one to say it, but I suspect there is a lesson to be learned here by college athletes about how vulnerable the structure of college athletics is to serious financial disruption.  Like a player strike, for example.  Just sayin’.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“If there’s no season, we will be f*****.”

You can read the long version of what Brett McMurphy got out of a survey of athletic directors about the fate of the 2020 football season…

Or you can read the tl;dr version.

They may wait a long time to start.  They may not play until there’s a vaccine available for the players.  They may only offer us a truncated version of a season.  But offer up one, they will.  Because, in the end, money matters more than anything else in college athletics.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Kings of spend

Tennessee:  For years, we’ve made wasting athletic funds on stupid contracts an art form.

Nebraska:  Hold our beer, you frugal bastards.


Filed under It's Just Bidness

Butts-Mehre and “a worst-case scenario”

Between Kirby Smart, the Georgia Way and the threat of a decline in revenue, something’s gotta give.  Lucky for us, Greg McGarity is on the mother.

McGarity said Georgia is starting a list of “different buckets” that could be affected by the coronavirus crisis.

“Depending on football, obviously, that’s the big unknown now,” McGarity said. “We’re planning as if a football season is going to happen. If that doesn’t happen, that’s a whole another environment.”

Georgia’s football ticket revenue for fiscal year 2019 was $33.4 million, according to a figure provided to the athletic board.

The school also gets a guaranteed $11.5 million annually from its multimedia rights with partner IMG for advertising events that could be affected.

“Is your TV revenue somehow adjusted, are your ticket sales adjusted in some form or fashion?” McGarity said. “There’s a lot of areas that we know could be affected but we really don’t have any data at this point to really be able to comment on specifics.”

There are holes in all of Greg’s buckets, but until he can see how much water is flowing out, he can’t figure out what to do.  But he’s worried about his precious.

McGarity said he didn’t know yet what those figures were because of the uncertainty of how the SEC revenue distributions will be affected for fiscal year 2021.

“We’re hoping and praying that doesn’t happen,” he said. “We also have to be realistic if football was not part of that what does that mean with our reserves, how much of the reserve can we utilize to make us somewhat whole. That’s why we have a reserve, thank goodness. We’re probably in better shape than a lot of institutions because of our financial stability.”

I think he misspelled “our rabid fan base”.

Georgia already extended the football season ticket renewal deadline to April 6, but will handle any “unique circumstances,” for any donors that need to work out a payment plan “if it helps ease the situation due to the economy right now,” McGarity said.

Fundraising for the expansion of the Butts-Mehre building stood at $54.2 million as of last week…

But that’s okay.  We know what he meant.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

The 2020 balancing test

One thing that’s going to be interesting to watch over the summer is how 2020 regular season scheduling takes shape.  Certainly, there are issues such as player preparation and, on a more basic level, when schools themselves will be opened, but, college athletics being what they are, there’s another fundamental issue in play ($$).

“It’s a whole new ballgame if we find ourselves not playing football, because it affects everything we do,” Bowlsby said. “It affects the largest portion of our TV contract. It affects the largest source of campus revenue, which is live gate. Anything that I say regarding finances, we have to make the assumption that we’re going to be back to playing football in the fall. And if that doesn’t happen, then the underpinning of what we’ve known as normal goes away and we’ll have major changes to make.”

If he sounds concerned, it’s only because he is.  And before you think they can always try to salvage a shortened season by reducing it to conference play, consider another key data point.


That ain’t chump change, especially in a year when revenues are already being choked back.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Where have all the good times gone?

Dan Wolken wonders if college athletic departments, after an unprecedented period of rising revenues and expenditures, are about to be presented with the check.  The first response he gets is so telling about our times:

“One of the byproducts we’re facing is people who have lost 25 or 30% of their net value of their portfolio or their retirement funds, that’s going to have some impact on us,” said Utah State athletic director John Hartwell, who finished a $36 million project in 2016 that added 24 luxury suites and more than 700 premium seats to the Aggies’ football stadium. “You could have someone who was buying a suite and 10 club seats but may say, hey I don’t need those extra seats anymore. I think we all have to be prepared for that, but we’re trying to be as proactive as we can. We’re making sure we try to touch base with all of our donors to keep them engaged.”

They’ll worry about the folks in the cheap seats later.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

Times are tough, NCAA edition

Best get ready to tighten those belts, ADs.

In response to the cancellation of all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, the Board of Governors voted unanimously to distribute $225 million in June to Division I members to specifically focus on supporting college athletes.

Division I revenue distribution for 2020 previously was budgeted at approximately $600 million, with the first distribution scheduled for April.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA