Schools Cancel Summer Camps, Another Hit to Revenues

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Spring sports have already been postponed or outright canceled for college programs throughout the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the disruption continues in other ways, as well.

Michigan State University announced on Friday that it would cancel sports camps. 

"We will miss the presence of future Spartans chasing their athletic dreams on our campus this summer, but nothing is more important than the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and community," Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman said in the release announcing the decision. "We look forward to welcoming young Spartans back to MSU for sports camps next summer."

Michigan State will issue refunds to enrollees. 

Indiana State University, a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, has already announced that athletic competitions have been canceled for the rest of the academic year, but in a Thursday release the school announced that youth sports camps scheduled for the summer would also be canceled. 

Sycamores athletic director Sherard Clinkscales announced the decision in a press release.

“Our coaches will continue to be focused on getting our student-athletes ready for the upcoming year as well as recruiting for the future. Our summer camps are traditionally a great way for the youth of the Wabash Valley to spend time on our campus and receive some of the best instruction available from our coaching staff. We will miss having everyone spend time with us this summer. But in the interest of everyone’s health and safety, this is the responsible decision at this time. Sycamore Athletics wishes good health and a bright future for everyone.”

Related: Survey: College ADs Bracing for Financial Crisis

Sports camps are one of the many ways athletic departments generate income — including ticket sales, donations and revenue distributions from the NCAA and athletic conferences. In general, camps are a small piece of the revenue pie, but the Sycamores decision comes at a precarious time for budgets across the country, as colleges are reckoning with lost revenues from canceled events.

On top of that, the NCAA has allowed schools to grant an extra year of eligibility to student-athletes who lost a season — an additional expense for programs willing to fund those scholarships.

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