As collegiate athletics departments are seeking creative ways to save money amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of conferences are reportedly discussing a regional scheduling alliance to help weather the storm.
According to D1Baseball, officials inside the Colonial Athletic Association, the Big East Conference and the Atlantic 10 Conference are considering the scheduling alliance as a way to ease the budget impact of secondary sports.
“We’re working on trying to find a regional solution. It makes a lot of sense in the short term and my hope is that it would take a lot of financial burden away from the schools,” Connecticut baseball coach Jim Penders told D1Baseball about the plan.
The idea is to allow programs within a geographic footprint to alleviate travel expenses by scheduling each other instead of more far-flung schools who may nevertheless be in the same conference.
The Big East, for instance, has programs ranging from the Midwest to the East Coast, meaning that some programs fly to take on conference opponents.
“I first brought it up on a conference call with Big East coaches two weeks ago and I asked if anyone would be dead set against this. No one was. Essentially, we left the meeting looking to explore which other conferences would be willing to navigate this with us.”
The alliance idea is still reportedly in its early stages, and discussions are ongoing.