ORIGINAL: Mark Anderson
ORIGINAL: Steve Lentz
Back in June, Bill Moos and the Nebraska athletic department did their best to try and predict the potential economic hit of possibly losing part of the 2020 football season due to COVID-19.
The third-year NU athletic director and his staff could have never predicted how devastating the impact would eventually be when the Big Ten Conference announced this week that the season would be postponed until 2021.
During an appearance on the Husker Sports Network radio show, Sports Nightly, on Thursday night, Moos delivered some grave numbers to show just how substantial of a blow losing seven home football games would be this fall.
Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos estimated that NU's athletic department would lose more than $100 million from no fall football season.
Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos estimated that NU's athletic department would lose more than $100 million from no fall football season. (Nate Clouse)
When Nebraska’s athletic department initially trimmed its budget and eliminated 17 positions, including some senior staff, back in June, it did so with the projection of a roughly $12-15 million deficit.
Now, Moos said NU athletics alone were looking at a loss of more than $100 million.
Even more, Moos said the collateral financial damage expected for the City of Lincoln from no fall football season would be around $300 million.
“That’s a lot of businesses, a lot of jobs, a lot of families that are going to be affected,” Moos said. “That weighs heavy on me, and it weighs heavy on all of the administrators at the University of Nebraska.”
Moos said each Nebraska home football game was worth around $12 million, and that didn’t even factor in the additional income earned from the Huskers’ television contract through the Big Ten and other media partners.
With any hope of games this fall now officially out the window, Moos stressed the importance of playing at least a partial season this spring to receive at least part of the annual television revenue, which now tops $50 million per school for a full season.
Moos said his staff had been meeting for a while now, including as he spoke on Thursday night, to develop a new budget plan and thought they had “a solid feel for the dilemma we’re facing.”
However, Moos admitted: “That is a daunting exercise.”
Another consequence of the lost fall season that couldn’t be counted in dollars was the mental toll taken on Nebraska’s fall sports student-athletes. After preparing for months to compete in their respective sports this fall, many Husker athletes are now left wondering whether they will get the opportunity to play at all in 2020-21.
“For right now, those dreams are crushed,” Moos said. “It’s going to take all we’ve got to make sure we embrace them, love them, take care of them, and get through this together."
Moos’ interview had somber tune from the start, but he made sure to close with pep talk not only for Nebraska’s coaches, athletes, and staff members, but to the people of the entire state who will be equally impacted by the lost 2020 season.
“This is an amazing state, and we will lock arms and we will march through this much like we did in the aftermath of the floods that took place earlier last year,” Moos said. “We’ll get there, and it’ll make us stronger. We’ll come out better in the end, but I have a strong, strong care and feelings for the people that are going to be affected both in our department at the University, in Lincoln, and throughout the entire State of Nebraska.”
Wait for the outrage when the negative income producing sports get cut.
You're right. It's going to get real ugly.
" I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization"