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Covid 19 Could Change College Sports Forever

And by change we mean the nature and structure of the NCAA

Dollar Bills
Berlin, Germany - April 05: In this photo illustration a dollar bills lie on a table on April 05, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected just about everything in society and that certainly includes college sports where athletic departments are under immense stress. Expenses don’t stop but income has certainly been disrupted and that’s causing some major issues.

Check out the letter that UNC A.D. Bubba Cunningham sent out for one.

There were concerns that an NCAA meeting this week might have led to the Power 5 pulling out (hasn’t happened yet but that doesn’t mean the threat isn’t real).

And perhaps most strikingly of all, with funding a real concern, private equity may be moving into college sports.

The PAC-12 has pursued private equity for a loan for a while now and the overall environment may tempt other conferences to consider doing the same.

It would be a risky strategy in many ways but not least of all because it would immediately change the rules and expectations. For one thing, the lenders would expect returns on their investments and that might create some uncomfortable realities in a big hurry, including but not limited to leaner operations and changed NIL (name, image and likeness) expectations.