The Wolverine


The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MAY 2020 THE WOLVERINE 17 cently reeled that offering back in during a teleconference, saying his words were "kind of misconstrued and misrepresented." He added: "I'm not making any predictions. I really wasn't that night. I was just trying to explain how real this pandemic is and how we all need to listen to the guidelines and what they're recommending." He is also listening to those in col- lege football who are trying to come up with a way to make a season hap- pen. They know what's at stake. According to a recent rundown in USA Today, it's $4.1 billion in fiscal- year revenues for athletic depart- ments in the Power Five conferences alone. That is an average of more than $78 million per school. That represents more than 60 per- cent of the involved schools' reve- nues for operation, the study noted, based on the 2019 fiscal year. A chart that appeared in Sports Il- lustrated dramatically underscores the impact of football revenue during the 2018 fiscal year. The University of Texas led the nation in profit off of football revenue, pulling in $112.9 million. Second on the list? Michigan, at $74.8 million, followed by Georgia ($73.9 million), Notre Dame ($65.3 million) and Nebraska ($59.7 million). The piece went on to point out how extensively the big-time foot- ball schools are covering for massive revenue losses in other sports. In the 2018 fiscal year, those Power Five athletic departments had to make up $960 million, or an average of $17 million per school, in lost revenue on sports other than football and men's basketball. Michigan and Ohio State dwarfed those numbers. U-M led the way in subsidizing non-revenue or Olym- pic sports, covering $39.9 million in losses. Ohio State came in a close sec- ond, at $38.8 million. It's little wonder that schools aren't easily inclined to brush away a foot- ball season. It involves far more than a year 's hiatus from the feel-good traditions of the fall. It's also why, on further review, Herbstreit wouldn't be shocked if somehow, some way, football gets played. Discussions remain ongoing, but various scenarios regarding what might happen with football have The possible loss of football, or even a shortened season and the reduced revenue that comes with it, would have far-reaching financial implications and could threaten every sport the NCAA offers. FILE PHOTO

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