Report: Pac-12 Plans To ‘Rescue Cash-Strapped’ Athletic Departments With Loan Program If No Football

Aug 5, 2020, 11:24 AM
Larry Scott - Pac-12 Conference Commissioner - Utah...
University of Utah Interim President Lorris Betz, left, and Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott hold up a Pac-12 Day jersey during Pac-12 Celebration Day at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 1, 2011. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Pac-12 Conference plans to use a “mammoth loan program” to “rescue cash-strapped” athletic departments if the 2020 college football season is canceled, according to Jon Wilner of The Mercury News.

On July 31, the conference announced that its school would play a 10-game conference-only schedule this fall.

If the season were to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pac-12 schools would suffer significant financial losses without television revenue and more.

Football programs typically make up the majority of revenue generated for athletic departments.

In the event of a canceled season, the Pac-12’s loan program would reportedly be “large enough to cover that loss for each school” within the conference.

Wilner’s report highlight that Utah’s football program brought in $66 million during the 2019 fiscal year. That amount equaled two-thirds of all revenues generated by the Utes’ athletic department.

According to The Mercury News, “the loan would provide a maximum of $83 million for each university at a rate of 3.75 percent over 10 years” and “if all 12 opted for the maximum amount, the total would be $996 million.”

“The conference is trying to be nimble and give schools some options,’’ a source told Wilner. “All loan capacity is being used for things besides athletics. They’re trying to get the core (academic) programs through for the next three years without firing people.”

The first Pac-12 games are slated to begin on September 26. Part of the delayed schedule included pushing the Pac-12 title game two weeks from its originally scheduled date.

The University of Utah is scheduled to open its season at Washington State on September 26.

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