The world of college sports is up in the air as of right now. Due to Governor’s hastily shutting down their economies because of the Wuhan Coronavirus, massive spending cuts to colleges will be realized. This does not leave NCAA sports unscathed, especially the mid major to smaller schools.
It’s all a huge unknown among the entire collegiate sports landscape, as all game-day revenues have gone kaput, and there’s an increasing belief that college football — the golden egg, especially for the Power Five, but also to a significant extent for the Group of Five — will be played this fall in empty stadiums, as doctors warn that the coronavirus threat isn’t going away anytime soon, and large gatherings might be best to wait until there’s a vaccine. That’s not likely until early 2021, and that’s optimistic.“We’re all on pins and needles,” said Scott Wetherbee, athletic director at Eastern Michigan.
Commissioners for five Group of Five, or mid-major, conferences sent a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert on April 10, co-signed by heads of the Mid-American Conference, American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference, pleading with Emmert to ease the NCAA’s membership rules, temporarily — “a blanket waiver for relief will provide institutions the ability to make prudent and necessary decisions for the financial well-being of the institution.”
Among the big asks from the five conferences is the easing of the rule that calls for NCAA institutions to sponsor at minimum 14 varsity sports. Few colleges have cut sports, so far, though there have been a couple notable instances — including men’s soccer at Cincinnati and wrestling at Old Dominion, plus six teams at Division II
Schools that aren’t open to cutting sports teams — at least permanently; the waiver request to the NCAA calls for a temporary reduction, if necessary, with the teams eventually coming back — may have to get creative to cook the books.
Source: The Detroit News