Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head. You know, the longer the coronavirus pandemic lasts the more I get confused over whether I actually have free time or I’m just forgetting everything.
Digging into the wallet
Perhaps I’m not the best person to comment — I have all the money I need if I die by 3 p.m. — but the coronavirus is wrecking our national economy.
College athletics is about to take a big financial beating whether a school is punting until spring or trying to play sports this fall.
The BYU Athletics Annual Report came out in July and it included a financial report. BYU is a private institution and isn’t required by law to release actual dollar numbers. The report does include percentages for expenses and revenue, however, and based on U.S. Department of Education numbers, BYU’s latest athletic budget was around $50 million and its revenue was around $72 million. That’s a really good profit number compared to most P5 schools.
COVID-19 is creating problem areas for athletic departments all over the country — not the least of which is NCAA guidelines for testing, which could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars should a fall season actually take place.
I won’t do a deep dive into the report — these numbers are just speculative, after all — but here are a couple of items that stand out.
Tickets sales amount to 26% of revenue for the BYU athletic department, just over $18 million. Most of that comes from football, so that revenue is bound to take a hit this fall when the number of fans in a venue will be restricted should games be played.
Sports camps annually bring in 8% of revenue, or roughly $5.7 million. Those camps were all canceled this spring and summer due to the coronavirus.
Broadcast revenue is tricky to gage but the report indicated it was 6%, or $4.3 million. How that changes this year is anybody’s guess.
On the expenses side, the bulk goes to salary and benefits at 37% (around $18 million). Recruiting amounts to just 2%, only about $1 million total for the entire athletic department. According to sources, about $500,000 to $600,000 of that recruiting budget is for football, which is dwarfed by most P5 schools. For instance, Georgia spent nearly $7 million in football recruiting over a three-year period (2016-18), according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
What does all of this mean? It means that whatever form of sports we get in 2020-21, there are going to have to be some adjustments from the BYU athletic department.
Summer of nightmares
I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’ve been bashed over the head by a new low in the human experience: Dealing with car insurance companies. I’ve been put through hell the past month for something that was unequivocally no fault of my own (two witnesses back me up). I wouldn’t wish this stress on my worst enemy.
The pro game
The NFL has started training camp and we’re less than a month from the first game. Just last week the Seattle Seahawks cut undrafted free agent defensive back Kemah Silverland for sneaking girl into the team’s hotel during training camp, a very big no-no under current coronavirus restrictions.
There’s also something called the “COVID-19 Reserve List” and that just about makes me cry it’s so weird.
I really hope we get a full season of the NFL. My Cowboys have a new coach in Mike McCarthy and perhaps the best rookie on the planet in wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. I haven’t had a championship since 1996, so I’m due, right?
Taking a pause
Man, I really feel bad for BYU’s Olympic fall sports.
The Cougars are annual nationally ranked in women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and cross country but the pitch, the court and courses will be silent this fall since the West Coast Conference announced that all competitions and championships have been postponed until (maybe) spring.
While the football team gathers all the headlines and produces the most revenue, athletes in the other sports work just as hard to perfect their craft and represent the university.
I’m all for some inter-squad games this fall. Blue vs. White. Let’s do this.
Who to play?
The Pac-12 has postponed all events until the first the year, which means the BYU men’s basketball team lost preseason games against Oregon, Utah and Arizona State. The women’s basketball team usually plays one or two Pac-12 teams during the preseason as well. Conference play was scheduled to begin early in the new year for BYU and so far that’s still on the table.
But I don’t envy Mark Pope’s scheduling wizard, Cody Fueger. Getting teams lined up for the Cougars is hard enough without this coronavirus mess.
By the way, I saw a picture on social media the other day of a couple of BYU basketball players in action, and both were masked.
I don’t know that I will ever get used to that.
Meanwhile, the BYU football team is the last program standing in the West and has four games still on the docket: At Navy on Sept. 7, vs. Troy on Sept. 26, vs. Houston on Oct. 16 and vs. North Alabama on Nov. 21. AD Tom Holmoe is working furiously to find some more games and he will. I just hope all of them can be played.
Let’s work together
Speaking of masks, I attended a couple of high school sporting events last week including a volleyball match at Mountain View and a football game at Timpview. I’m happy to report that nearly everyone I saw from coaches to fans was masked up. It’s a little bit uncomfortable to wear a mask for a couple of hours but it’s a very small price to pay for the chance to watch some live events.
One of the stars of the night was BYU commit Kyson Hall, who caught four passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns in Maple Mountain’s 45-3 win against Cedar Valley.
That’s it for now, but for this: I’ve made 56 rotations around the sun now and my family continues to amaze me by making each birthday special — even when the beat me in bowling.
Next up: My wife’s birthday and our annual rafting trip down the Provo River.
Be safe, mask up and have a great week.