MWC Commisioner: If There Is No Football, There Will Be “Very Little Likelihood” Of Other College Sports
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson thinks that if there is not a football season in the fall, that other sports might not take place.
Thompson answered some questions on the Mountain West Digital Network about the current state of college athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If there is no college football this fall, there will be very little likelihood that there will be any other sports because 85 percent of the revenue derived in college athletics comes from the sport of football,” Thompson said. ”
Thompson has been in meetings with committees from around the country and they have already started to plan out budgets for the upcoming athletic season.
“We just approved the College Football Playoff budget this week,” Thompson said. “It’s around 16 to 20 percent cut and we will look into a 15 to 20 percent cut in the operating budget of the Mountain West Conference. We are going to be fine for this year from a financial perspective but the unknowns are the challenges. The NCAA allowed seniors in spring sports to come back and gain another year of eligibility. How are those scholarships going to be funded? Are they going to be funded?”
Another thing that Thompson is asking his athletic directors to do is to look at ways to reduce costs.
“We have several conference calls a week with our athletic directors and we are talking about all measures of cost containment and cost reduction but I think everyone on a national sense will get through this fiscal year,” Thompson added.
Other things that Thompson has looked at is to potentially move the media days for football and basketball that have been in-person for the last 21 years to possibly go to virtual.
“Almost all in-person meetings have been canceled and I don’t know if they are going to come back,” Thompson mentioned. “Maybe it’s a new way of doing business. College athletics might have needed a reset on ways that we have contained costs and spent money. This is an opportunity to look at it and see if their is a more economical way.”
Reliant On Football
Thompson was asked what steps he is taking to make sure that the conference will be okay financially into the future.
“We are so reliant on football, “Thompson said. “We just signed a new deal to continue our relationship with CBS. Also, with a new partnership with FOX, we are working on those schedules. We are planning and anticipating the start of college football season during Labor Day weekend. The challenge is that it is at a bit of a pause right now because both FOX and CBS have great relationships with the NFL and until they determine when they are playing then you pack in the college schedules. There might be a light of games that might be in a condensed fall.”