Gophers AD offers latest on resuming play, impact of potential scenarios

Chris Long
Updated: May 08, 2020 06:00 PM
Created: May 08, 2020 05:45 PM

Gophers Athletic Director Mark Coyle says there are still too many unanswerable questions to be talking dates when - or if - college sports can resume, but while he praises his department for working through the health crisis, he's preparing for significant financial impact.

Click the video box on this page to watch Mark Coyle's video press conference from Friday, May 8th


Coyle says Gopher Athletics - in conjunction with the athletic deparments around the Big Ten - will take cues from health officials with regard to when teams can begin assembling, practicing and playing again.

Regardless when that happens, Coyle is steeling his department for a financial hit.

In his conference call on Friday, he outlined three potential scenarios.  Gopher Athletics' budget for last year was round $125-million.  If fall sports are played as planned with fans in the stands, Coyle still projects a revenue loss of $10-million.  That goes to $30-million if teams can play without fans in the stands and extends to $70-million if there aren't any sports at all through the fall semester.

He said Gopher Athletics stood to make about $1-million for the previous year but the cancellation of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament will leave the department in the red for the current fiscal year.

Coyle is part of a Big Ten Conference cost-cutting task force that's already starting to examine how programs can cut costs in the wake of the pandemic - ranging from coordinated schedules allowing multiple teams to travel together, to revising non-conference schedules so all travel can be done by busing to nearby opponents rather than costly flights to play more distant opponents.

During his call, Coyle also praised his entire deparment - from coaches to academic support staff to trainers - for adapting to do their jobs remotely once campus closed down.

He noted several coaches have excelled in recruiting during the shutdown.

One publication hailed coach Hugh McCutcheon's incoming volleyball class as the top class in the nation, and P.J. Fleck's Class of 2021 has landed some top prospects which are poised to be Gopher Football's best recruiting class since such measurements began.

Copyright 2020 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Comment on Facebook

Officers' body camera video in George Floyd case released to public

UPDATE: Authorities locate missing 3-year-old in Sawyer County

What voters need to know before Tuesday's primary

Omar faces tougher-than-expected primary challenge