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#pounditThursday, August 13, 2020

Oklahoma softball coach concerned about consequences if there is no college football

Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma softball coach Patty Gasso is concerned about the possible domino effect in the case that there is no college football in the next academic year.

Gasso has won four championships at Oklahoma, and her Sooners are one of the most dominant teams in college softball. Her team was 20-4 before this season got canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But she fears the team’s 2021 season could also be canceled if no college football is played.

“If there’s a way to play football but maybe it doesn’t start until March, no one better complain about that. No one,” Gasso told The Athletic’s Jason Kersey.

“We’ll just deal with it. If they’re playing during our spring season, who cares? Be happy! We’ve got to celebrate that! Because if they aren’t playing, then maybe we aren’t playing the next spring. I think we’ve got to understand reality, and that’s that football pays for all of us.”

Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy was widely criticized for his comments talking about the importance of playing the college football season when he cited the economic impact on the state. But Gasso’s comments are another example of the importance of college football.

Many college athletic departments lose money. That’s because the cost of participating in most sports (think the smaller ones like track, tennis, golf, volleyball, water polo) where you still have to pay coaches, staffs, and traveling costs for entire teams for a whole season are vast, while the revenue they generate is small. Football games can bring in over 50,000 fans (or double that in some cases) and often generate enough revenue to fund many other athletic programs that lose money.

In this article, you can see a chart of Alabama’s 2019 sports team revenue and expense reports. Only football and men’s basketball were profitable. The $25 million in profit generated by football covered the $22 million in losses incurred by 14 of the school’s other programs.

Oklahoma’s football team is extremely profitable, but it needs to cover the expenses of all the other teams in the department. You take that away and you’re talking about the school losing millions on every other sport that is played, which is why Gasso is concerned about seasons being canceled.

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