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Ducks Consider Spring Football as Budget Woes Grow

Andy Berg

The University of Oregon is budgeting for an eight-game spring football season and a conference-only basketball season as the school manages a projected $56-$81 million loss in 2020-21.

At a meeting of the Oregon’s board of trustees last week, UO vice president for finance and administration CFO Jamie Moffitt and athletic director Rob Mullens discussed four different budgeted scenarios.

The best-case scenario would include an eight-game spring football season, Pac-12 Championship Game but no bowl games, and 25 percent fan attendance at football games and for a conference-only basketball season. That scenario also includes NCAA Tournament revenue distribution and all other sports resuming after Jan. 1 with some fan attendance. In the aforementioned case, UO $51.6 million in revenues and $107.9 million in expenses for a net loss of $56.3 million, according to UO documents obtained by The Bulletin.

A second scenario excludes any fan attendance at competitions, which would significantly widen the shortfall to a projected $41.1 million in revenues and $105.8 million in expenses for a net loss of $64.7 million.

The worst of the scenarios would involve no sports being played. In that instance, UO would see $19.6 million in revenues, $95.9 million in expenses and a net loss of $76.3 million.

“These models keep changing based on what we think could happen relative to training, practice and season,” Mullens told The Bulletin. “That’s why these have been a bit of a moving target.”

Mullens said UO athletics, which implemented a department-wide 10 percent pay cut in the spring, has already lowered its payroll costs by $7 million. 

The Pac-12 is also considering a line of credit schools could tap into to offset losses this year, but Moffitt said Oregon has not yet committed to utilizing it.

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