The COVID-19 pandemic is fundamentally changing the nation — and the world. Sports, once metronymic distraction from real life is on pause and we all are facing the tough reality without much more than a Netflix subscription.
Cancelling the biggest money-maker for “amateur” sports was unfathomable to my little brain just a few short weeks ago, but it has come to pass. If the mighty NCAA tournament can be postponed, surely everything else is vulnerable. We lost all the spring sports and while the football practices are on hold, when this pandemic creaks into its six month come August, and the lifeblood of many athletic programs is on hold? What then?
The Orlando Sentinel report quotes the Florida AD as saying “football pays for the enterprise to go forward”. Without the revenue, how will everyone pay for another year of eligibility for all the seniors that lost their spring?
It is on everyone’s mind right now, as each program prepares for all eventualities. For this league, things are even harder as there are fewer dollars to go around anyway. The G5 leagues play with much smaller budgets and thus there is less of a safety net. I have read some reports that in some specific cases, cancelling spring sports actually saved some money.
Regardless, this is all new territory. It is hard to ask donors for money in this climate and even harder to ask for season tickets deposits for a season that may not be. Compounding this problem are the lawsuits and movement to fundamentally change the way we do amateur sports in this country.
Whenever we get back to something like normal, it will be a very different sports landscape. That means little old CUSA will not be how we remember.