Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney remained optimistic about the football season when speaking to the media. He hopes and believes that college football teams will suit up in August.
Swinney made national headlines last week after saying he has “zero doubt” the season will be played on time. He also weighed in on how the season could look different from a fan’s perspective.
Just 141 days before its scheduled kickoff, the season is up in the air as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to spike. Not only could an impacted season prove consequential to the players and coaches, but also to the revenue generated by the schools.
Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich has arranged a committee to study the ramifications of an altered college football season. The committee will explore the possibility of the Tigers playing a partial schedule, or bypassing the entire season.
The Tigers are coming off a season in which they fell one game short of their hopes of a national championship. Returning offensive stars Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, Swinney believes they’ll be ready if given the opportunity to play.
Why is Football Different?
There is a clear distinction in the value schools place on college football, and for good reason. For several schools, the revenue brought in from the college football season is key to schools’ athletic facilities and other institutions. Not to mention, other sports at those same schools.
When you hear things from ADs like "football allows us to have other sports," this is what they mean.
Take #LSU. Here are profit/loss numbers from each LSU sport in the 2016-17 cycle, from my time as a beat writer.
– Football: $56M in profit
– Other sports: ~$23M in losses pic.twitter.com/3Giw1YrdZF
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) March 31, 2020
So, is Swinney’s optimism well-founded or wishful thinking? Athletic directors, players, coaches and die-hard fans are hoping the former is true. But at this point, it’s anyone’s guess.