The SEC tag line of ‘It just means more’ isn’t quite ringing true in the wake of the growing coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, it could be a lot less for all 14 schools in the league. According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Razorbacks athletic director Hunter Yurachek told school trustees recently that he is expecting between $2 and $3 million less in conference distributions this year.
“So we’re looking at deficit as we close out this fiscal year,” Yurachek said. “It would be hard not to have a deficit.”
The Southeastern Conference has, like most of their NCAA peers, canceled spring sports in recent days as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While there is a slim hope that spring football practices could be held at some point, that is obviously not a money maker for the league like its axed men’s basketball tournament would have been. On top of this, the NCAA canceled all championships for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year to further reduce the amount collected by the league office in Birmingham.
Though Yurachek notes that travel costs UA won’t have to pay will help balance things out like ticket refunds, the amount is unlikely to help save the Hogs from hitting red in their budget.
Given those estimates in the drop of distributions, the SEC could be facing as much as $42 million in lost revenue in 2020 as a result of the cancelations. The league handed out roughly $44.6 million per school in their last cycle.