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Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
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Fighting Muskie Online
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Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
WWII resulted in a lot of schools putting a hold on football and/or other sports due to the emergency nature of the crisis at hand. A lot of programs came back when the war was over but others remained permanently shut down.

Do any of you see Corona virus killing off sports at small schools?

It’s far easier for the administration to let a global pandemic be the scapegoat for an unpopular expenditure cutting measure.
03-25-2020 12:39 PM
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mikeinsec127 Offline
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 12:39 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  WWII resulted in a lot of schools putting a hold on football and/or other sports due to the emergency nature of the crisis at hand. A lot of programs came back when the war was over but others remained permanently shut down.

Do any of you see Corona virus killing off sports at small schools?

It’s far easier for the administration to let a global pandemic be the scapegoat for an unpopular expenditure cutting measure.

Yes, if this carries over to the fall, some schools will take the opportunity to cut some or all sports as expose savings. I don't think it will be all small schools either. Some larger schools who have athletic departments with big revenue drains will use this as an opportunity to cut or downgrade their sports programs.
This might be the impetus to kill off some small schools completely. Lost room and board fees from students being forced home, a massive drop in the market results in equally massive endowment losses and high unemployment means reduced alumni donations. If this carries over into the fall, that lost revenue might cause some of them you close up all together.
03-25-2020 12:58 PM
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Sactowndog Online
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 12:39 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  WWII resulted in a lot of schools putting a hold on football and/or other sports due to the emergency nature of the crisis at hand. A lot of programs came back when the war was over but others remained permanently shut down.

Do any of you see Corona virus killing off sports at small schools?

It’s far easier for the administration to let a global pandemic be the scapegoat for an unpopular expenditure cutting measure.

In the case of D3 sports are actually a money maker at least on the men’s side because it provides a pull for men to attend the school. It’s where men’s Volleyball has seen all their growth and why men’s Water Polo is sponsoring a D3 nationals program.
03-25-2020 01:03 PM
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johnintx Online
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 01:03 PM)Sactowndog Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 12:39 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  WWII resulted in a lot of schools putting a hold on football and/or other sports due to the emergency nature of the crisis at hand. A lot of programs came back when the war was over but others remained permanently shut down.

Do any of you see Corona virus killing off sports at small schools?

It’s far easier for the administration to let a global pandemic be the scapegoat for an unpopular expenditure cutting measure.

In the case of D3 sports are actually a money maker at least on the men’s side because it provides a pull for men to attend the school. It’s where men’s Volleyball has seen all their growth and why men’s Water Polo is sponsoring a D3 nationals program.

This applies to some D2 schools, as well. Athletics are used to recruit students with partial athletic scholarships in order to boost enrollment and income via tuition payments (cash, student loans, etc.). For a small school dependent on enrollment, athletics are an important way to bring in students that might not otherwise go there.

There are schools that will use the current pandemic to cut unpopular programs, such as athletic programs. There are others that will do everything possible to avoid cutting sports.
03-25-2020 01:22 PM
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Pony94 Offline
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Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
I would be more worried about schools like Tulsa
03-25-2020 01:30 PM
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johnintx Online
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 12:58 PM)mikeinsec127 Wrote:  Yes, if this carries over to the fall, some schools will take the opportunity to cut some or all sports as expose savings. I don't think it will be all small schools either. Some larger schools who have athletic departments with big revenue drains will use this as an opportunity to cut or downgrade their sports programs.
This might be the impetus to kill off some small schools completely. Lost room and board fees from students being forced home, a massive drop in the market results in equally massive endowment losses and high unemployment means reduced alumni donations. If this carries over into the fall, that lost revenue might cause some of them you close up all together.

I think lesser-endowed small schools are in trouble as it is, and the current pandemic only exacerbates the situation. It all depends on how many students return to each school, and how many new students they can recruit.

It is easier to shut down a private school than a public school, therefore small private schools are more at risk.
03-25-2020 01:30 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
I think that is unlikely.

D-III is not expensive, maybe $1.5 a year. Non-scholarship athletes more than pay for the programs with their tuition. They simply go on vacation for a year.

The schools which are hardest hit will be G5, FCS and other D-I which are heavily subsidized. Their expenses are much higher, especially staff, and without income this could blow $10m holes in their budgets. Some might think about dropping or dropping down.

P5 will also be hit, but they have revenues coming in in following years to make up. I could see some serious cost cutting, salary freezes and such.

It all depends on how long this lasts.
03-25-2020 01:34 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 01:03 PM)Sactowndog Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 12:39 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  WWII resulted in a lot of schools putting a hold on football and/or other sports due to the emergency nature of the crisis at hand. A lot of programs came back when the war was over but others remained permanently shut down.

Do any of you see Corona virus killing off sports at small schools?

It’s far easier for the administration to let a global pandemic be the scapegoat for an unpopular expenditure cutting measure.

In the case of D3 sports are actually a money maker at least on the men’s side because it provides a pull for men to attend the school. It’s where men’s Volleyball has seen all their growth and why men’s Water Polo is sponsoring a D3 nationals program.

The d-3 school in my town added e-sports, men's lacrosse, and women's lacrosse as part of their response to a major drop in enrollment over the past decade.

This year they're adding men's volleyball, women's soccer, and women's bowling. They're also expanding their e-sports program from 2 teams to 6 teams.
03-25-2020 01:34 PM
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dbackjon Online
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 01:30 PM)johnintx Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 12:58 PM)mikeinsec127 Wrote:  Yes, if this carries over to the fall, some schools will take the opportunity to cut some or all sports as expose savings. I don't think it will be all small schools either. Some larger schools who have athletic departments with big revenue drains will use this as an opportunity to cut or downgrade their sports programs.
This might be the impetus to kill off some small schools completely. Lost room and board fees from students being forced home, a massive drop in the market results in equally massive endowment losses and high unemployment means reduced alumni donations. If this carries over into the fall, that lost revenue might cause some of them you close up all together.

I think lesser-endowed small schools are in trouble as it is, and the current pandemic only exacerbates the situation. It all depends on how many students return to each school, and how many new students they can recruit.

It is easier to shut down a private school than a public school, therefore small private schools are more at risk.

And how dependent they are on full-tuition international students. International students have been on a sharp decline for the last three years, this could excelerate the trend.
03-25-2020 01:41 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 01:34 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  The schools which are hardest hit will be G5, FCS and other D-I which are heavily subsidized. Their expenses are much higher, especially staff, and without income this could blow $10m holes in their budgets. Some might think about dropping or dropping down.

P5 will also be hit, but they have revenues coming in in following years to make up. I could see some serious cost cutting, salary freezes and such.

It all depends on how long this lasts.

I also thought about the non-P5 rungs of D-I when he asked that. Many of these athletic departments are already strapped by trying to compete at a higher level than they perhaps should.
03-25-2020 01:48 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
Bacone, Iowa Wesleyan and Wheeling are the ones who almost closed their doors down last year, but if this continues? The lost of money for no students enrolling could shut their downs for good.

The smaller schools in D1 could hurt like some have financial issues like Howard and Bethune-Cookman could be in trouble. Presbyterian is one with the most issues that could shuttered for good. They are the smallest school in D1.


Thread On Struggling Schools

I created a thread several months ago on the issues of schools closing because of debt and the failing report cards. There are so many at D2, D3 and NAIA that are in heavy debt. We just saw a couple of schools shut down recently in Concordia-Portland and Cincinnati Christian. We could see a lot to follow suit soon as many of them can't afford to go online learning like the other schools.
(This post was last modified: 03-25-2020 01:57 PM by DavidSt.)
03-25-2020 01:50 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 01:48 PM)johnintx Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 01:34 PM)Stugray2 Wrote:  The schools which are hardest hit will be G5, FCS and other D-I which are heavily subsidized. Their expenses are much higher, especially staff, and without income this could blow $10m holes in their budgets. Some might think about dropping or dropping down.

P5 will also be hit, but they have revenues coming in in following years to make up. I could see some serious cost cutting, salary freezes and such.

It all depends on how long this lasts.

I also thought about the non-P5 rungs of D-I when he asked that. Many of these athletic departments are already strapped by trying to compete at a higher level than they perhaps should.

The large public schools will not be hurt. It is the smaller private schools that do not have the large endowments to be there.
03-25-2020 01:59 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
D2 sports can be money makers also. Granted not as much as D3 because of scholarships. Football is a good example. The average D2 football roster size in 2018 was 111 players and the D2 scholarship limit is 36. That leaves about 2/3 of tuition, room & board, and other expenses still has to be covered by the players. But it's a small number of schools who are fully funded and many are even less than 20 football scholarships which means a higher percentage of school costs has to be covered by the players. When you add the team's non-player students and friends of players that enroll at a school, that brings more tuition to the school's revenue. Soccer and Softball is roughly the same as football, Baseball players have to cover about 3/4 of school costs, and Golf and Tennis players have to cover at least 1/2 of school costs.

I see this affecting smaller D1 schools more than D2 or D3 schools because of the much higher expenses of being in D1.
03-25-2020 02:05 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 01:41 PM)dbackjon Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 01:30 PM)johnintx Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 12:58 PM)mikeinsec127 Wrote:  Yes, if this carries over to the fall, some schools will take the opportunity to cut some or all sports as expose savings. I don't think it will be all small schools either. Some larger schools who have athletic departments with big revenue drains will use this as an opportunity to cut or downgrade their sports programs.
This might be the impetus to kill off some small schools completely. Lost room and board fees from students being forced home, a massive drop in the market results in equally massive endowment losses and high unemployment means reduced alumni donations. If this carries over into the fall, that lost revenue might cause some of them you close up all together.

I think lesser-endowed small schools are in trouble as it is, and the current pandemic only exacerbates the situation. It all depends on how many students return to each school, and how many new students they can recruit.

It is easier to shut down a private school than a public school, therefore small private schools are more at risk.

And how dependent they are on full-tuition international students. International students have been on a sharp decline for the last three years, this could excelerate the trend.

International students tend to prefer the big research institutions. There's very few at D-2 and D-3 schools (other than schools with big endowments that could easily be D-1 like Chicago, NYU, Wayne State, Colorado School of Mines, etc).
03-25-2020 02:18 PM
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johnintx Online
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 02:05 PM)AZcats Wrote:  D2 sports can be money makers also. Granted not as much as D3 because of scholarships. Football is a good example. The average D2 football roster size in 2018 was 111 players and the D2 scholarship limit is 36. That leaves about 2/3 of tuition, room & board, and other expenses still has to be covered by the players. But it's a small number of schools who are fully funded and many are even less than 20 football scholarships which means a higher percentage of school costs has to be covered by the players. When you add the team's non-player students and friends of players that enroll at a school, that brings more tuition to the school's revenue. Soccer and Softball is roughly the same as football, Baseball players have to cover about 3/4 of school costs, and Golf and Tennis players have to cover at least 1/2 of school costs.

I see this affecting smaller D1 schools more than D2 or D3 schools because of the much higher expenses of being in D1.

He explained it better than I could. Smaller schools are tuition-driven. The more students paying tuition (even if it is from a Pell Grant or a student loan), the more money that goes into the school's coffers. D2 athletics are not a money-maker for the athletic department, but can be a money-maker for the school.
03-25-2020 02:20 PM
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quo vadis Offline
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 02:05 PM)AZcats Wrote:  D2 sports can be money makers also. Granted not as much as D3 because of scholarships. Football is a good example. The average D2 football roster size in 2018 was 111 players and the D2 scholarship limit is 36. That leaves about 2/3 of tuition, room & board, and other expenses still has to be covered by the players.

But ... that assumes that the 75 or so other players on the roster came to that school because of football, and would not have come otherwise.

Given that there is little glory involved in D2 football, that seems very unlikely. It makes zero sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to play D2 football. Or D3. The kids on the team likely choose that school for other reasons, and play football because it is ... there.

A few weeks ago, we had someone arguing that there were kids choosing to pay $45,000 a year in tuition at a private school in order to be the 85th guy - maybe the 3rd string right tackle? - on the roster of an NAIA football team. That was one of the biggest laffers around here in quite a while.
(This post was last modified: 03-25-2020 03:06 PM by quo vadis.)
03-25-2020 03:02 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
Coronavirus is here to kill off a subset of D2/D3 schools. The rest will be absorbed into D1. This is Mother nature's DavidSt's way of controlling realignment.
03-25-2020 03:34 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 03:02 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 02:05 PM)AZcats Wrote:  D2 sports can be money makers also. Granted not as much as D3 because of scholarships. Football is a good example. The average D2 football roster size in 2018 was 111 players and the D2 scholarship limit is 36. That leaves about 2/3 of tuition, room & board, and other expenses still has to be covered by the players.

But ... that assumes that the 75 or so other players on the roster came to that school because of football, and would not have come otherwise.

Given that there is little glory involved in D2 football, that seems very unlikely. It makes zero sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to play D2 football. Or D3. The kids on the team likely choose that school for other reasons, and play football because it is ... there.

A few weeks ago, we had someone arguing that there were kids choosing to pay $45,000 a year in tuition at a private school in order to be the 85th guy - maybe the 3rd string right tackle? - on the roster of an NAIA football team. That was one of the biggest laffers around here in quite a while.

AZcats can answer this better than I can, as he has more direct experience with small college football than I do.

Yes, at the D2 level, the lower rungs of the depth charts are filled with players that would normally go to that particular school. They're getting some athletic aid, but not much. They are getting the same financial aid that other students get.

There is a lot of roster turnover. As he mentioned, there is a high roster size, but it's also not unusual for a school to sign 40 or 50 recruits in a class. There is a scholarship limit, but those scholarships can be split. And, very few D2 schools are offering the scholarship limit in football. So, very few players are there on a full ride. You're getting players that are going to be paying for school anyway, and want to keep playing football.

There are recruiting battles for the better players, who have their choice of schools at the same level. Very few players are getting a full athletic scholarship at the D2 level, so the financial aid package comes into play. The better the package you can offer, the more likely you can get that player onto your team, if he likes your school. These are players that are most likely not getting a full ride anywhere, but can still play somewhere.

Funds are limited (these are primarily smaller public schools and small private schools), so it's not a total bidding war. But, if you can get (conservatively) 50 football players to come in that are choosing your school over another one, and they are covering $20,000 each in tuition and fees, that's $1,000,000 into your school's pocket. For a small private school dependent on tuition, every little bit helps. Likewise, for a smaller public school depending on a smaller piece of state funding, every little bit helps. Also, with Title IX, the schools also have to provide the same opportunities for women's athletics, so these schools are offering expanded scholarships and opportunities for female athletes in order to balance out football.

It sounds crazy, but it helps the bottom line of some of these schools, and gives some athletes the chance to play when they don't have the ability to play at the Division I level.
(This post was last modified: 03-25-2020 04:26 PM by johnintx.)
03-25-2020 04:24 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
(03-25-2020 04:24 PM)johnintx Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 03:02 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(03-25-2020 02:05 PM)AZcats Wrote:  D2 sports can be money makers also. Granted not as much as D3 because of scholarships. Football is a good example. The average D2 football roster size in 2018 was 111 players and the D2 scholarship limit is 36. That leaves about 2/3 of tuition, room & board, and other expenses still has to be covered by the players.

But ... that assumes that the 75 or so other players on the roster came to that school because of football, and would not have come otherwise.

Given that there is little glory involved in D2 football, that seems very unlikely. It makes zero sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket to play D2 football. Or D3. The kids on the team likely choose that school for other reasons, and play football because it is ... there.

A few weeks ago, we had someone arguing that there were kids choosing to pay $45,000 a year in tuition at a private school in order to be the 85th guy - maybe the 3rd string right tackle? - on the roster of an NAIA football team. That was one of the biggest laffers around here in quite a while.

AZcats can answer this better than I can, as he has more direct experience with small college football than I do.

Yes, at the D2 level, the lower rungs of the depth charts are filled with players that would normally go to that particular school. They're getting some athletic aid, but not much. They are getting the same financial aid that other students get.

There is a lot of roster turnover. As he mentioned, there is a high roster size, but it's also not unusual for a school to sign 40 or 50 recruits in a class. There is a scholarship limit, but those scholarships can be split. And, very few D2 schools are offering the scholarship limit in football. So, very few players are there on a full ride. You're getting players that are going to be paying for school anyway, and want to keep playing football.

There are recruiting battles for the better players, who have their choice of schools at the same level. Very few players are getting a full athletic scholarship at the D2 level, so the financial aid package comes into play. The better the package you can offer, the more likely you can get that player onto your team, if he likes your school. These are players that are most likely not getting a full ride anywhere, but can still play somewhere.

Funds are limited (these are primarily smaller public schools and small private schools), so it's not a total bidding war. But, if you can get (conservatively) 50 football players to come in that are choosing your school over another one, and they are covering $20,000 each in tuition and fees, that's $1,000,000 into your school's pocket. For a small private school dependent on tuition, every little bit helps. Likewise, for a smaller public school depending on a smaller piece of state funding, every little bit helps. Also, with Title IX, the schools also have to provide the same opportunities for women's athletics, so these schools are offering expanded scholarships and opportunities for female athletes in order to balance out football.

It sounds crazy, but it helps the bottom line of some of these schools, and gives some athletes the chance to play when they don't have the ability to play at the Division I level.

I don't believe I could have said that any better. The bolded sentence might be the key response to quo's statement. Football, or any sport, may not be the reason someone came to a school but it's a pretty good chance it had a part in the decision. After all, they are still playing their sport and using whatever financial aid they can get for playing that sport to help pay the cost of going to college because the number of D2 athletes on a full-ride is close to zero if not at zero. D2 football had 18,491 players on 166 teams in 2018 for a maximum of 5,976 equivalent scholarships across the entire division if every school offered 36 scholarships but we already know that very few do. That's a lot of tuition income for these schools and that is only counting the players.

And yes, there are people who love playing their sport enough that they will pay to be able to keep playing. A person's determination to get an education in an environment they are comfortable with are other factors. Not everyone can get a D1 full-ride scholarship for a variety of reasons.
03-25-2020 06:06 PM
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RE: Will Corona Virus be an impetus for D2 and D3 schools to shutter athletics?
Just a little over an hour ago D2 Notre Dame de Namur in Belmont, CA announced it will discontinue athletics. NDNU hopes to remain open but has discontinued accepting new students and is helping students who will not complete their degree by end of Spring 2021 to find other area schools to accommodate them. Before the NCAA shut down sports for the year NDNU had already cancelled the Men's Lacrosse season due to low roster numbers. The situation here has been developing for quite some time so the Corona Virus might have little connection in this case. NDNU is a private school with a total enrollment of 1,363 in Fall 2019. The following is from the FAQs on the school website.

Quote:For 169 years, we have provided quality higher education to students who would not otherwise be able to access these opportunities. NDNU is no longer able to support the costs associated with this mission. In the face of sharply rising costs in the Bay Area, we have a very modest endowment and limited resources at our disposal. At the same time, we have experienced our lowest enrollment in 30 years, a decrease of 33% since 2013. This has created a dramatic decrease in net tuition revenue while the cost to educate students has increased by several thousand dollars per student. Taken together, these factors have made it increasingly difficult to fulfill our mission to offer an education accessible to everyone.
03-25-2020 07:20 PM
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