no fall sports season has some financial impact
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
The university will not see as much of a financial loss with the cancellation of fall sports compared to larger universities who regularly generate millions of dollars in revenue annually off college athletics.
“The Alabamas of the world are losing all that revenue they’re earning at sold out football games. We’re not losing that much because we don’t charge at many of our venues,” said Athletic Director Jay Moran. “We see some cost savings; we have less competitions as of right now.”
The only sport that charges money for tickets is football, which means the university will not see as much of a fiscal change.
However, if all goes to plan and it is deemed safe for all the sports to compete in the spring at the same time, then expenses will go up for the university.
Southern will actively be conscious about saving money now so that there will be a sufficient amount once the spring does come around, according to Assistant Director of Athletics and Fiscal Affairs Giovanni D’Onofrio.
“The difficult part of this year is we really don’t know what the spring is going to look like.
We’re spending on a need only basis right now in anticipation that we will have sports in the spring and that we do have to reserve funds for the events in the spring,” said D’Onofrio.
There will be other challenges besides balancing the budget, including the fact that the schedule for the spring is not final yet and there are still decisions to be made, the budget mandated by the state could change from now to the spring and the university has never had to deal with such a situation before, according to D’Onofrio.
The NE10 is currently trying to come up with a plan that would effectively help universities when it comes to having all sports compete in the spring.
“They’re trying time make deviations to the previous schedules where there might be more savings or a more efficiency to the seasons, so that we’re not sending two teams to different places on different days. They’re trying to streamline seasons and limit the number of competitions,” said D’Onofrio.
The NCAA guidelines, prior to COVID-19, capped the number of games at 26 for a college basketball season, but many teams would get around 30 due to some of those games not counting.
Now, the cap has been moved down to 22 to help universities out financially when it comes to sports later on in the academic year.
“The NE10 has already built in and lowered the caps because they understand some schools might not have the financial resources in which to play the max and they also want to maintain competitive balance across all the schools,” said Matt Letkowski, associate director of athletics and compliance. “They didn’t want some schools to be able to play as many games as they could if they’re in a better situation than other schools.”
Moran said the scheduling for this year will be more regional, meaning Southern would play closer schools such as the University of New Haven and Pace University more than in a regular season to avoid overnights and traveling to save further costs.
“Every institution across the country right now is looking to save every penny because of COVID,” said Moran, “because the reality is enrollments are down and revenues are down, so we have to cut expenses.”