On Thursday, September 24, the Pac-12 Conference officially voted and approved a plan to play football in 2020.
The plan consists of a seven-game season starting on November 6-7, including a conference championship game on December 18, 2020. There will be no fans in attendance.
During a Zoom press conference on Thursday with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott, Pac-12 broadcaster Ashley Adamson, University of Oregon President Michael Schill, Dr. Doug Aukerman and a few others, an interesting topic was brought up: money.
President Schill insisted on explaining that this decision to play had nothing to do with money.
“Let me just say one thing it was not about. Social media sometimes talks about that the conferences are doing things because of money. This has nothing to do with money. It was never once mentioned as a consideration. The losses that our schools are encountering and in particular our athletic departments are huge.
In an email sent to season ticket holders on August 12, the Oregon Athletic department stated: “From a financial standpoint, approximately 70% of our overall department revenues result directly from football.”
The Oregon Athletic department is looking at a $50-85 million dollar deficit in the budget.
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On July 31, the Pac-12 Conference announced a conference-only schedule for the upcoming season.
On August 2, nine days before the Pac-12 Conference announced it would postpone all sports competition through 2021, Oregon State corner Jaydon Grant, who was one of 12 players in the conference to start the #WeAreUnited movement, had something to say about all the uncertainty.
The redshirt junior told The Athletic that "the only reason [the conference is] rushing football back is the money."
“We saw this as a social justice issue. Because, when you look at how much they need us, the only reason they’re rushing football back is the money. I mean, it’s inevitable. And when you’re talking about risking our health and safety in a time of such uncertainty during a pandemic — and then we’re not receiving the same benefits from having the season that the ones forcing the season to go on have — then you really start to realize how much we’re being exploited collectively as college athletes.”
So, “nothing to do with money?”
On the call, President Schill continued to state that health and safety and protecting the well-being of the students was the forefront of this decision. The rapid testing and partnership with Quidel Corp. was a game-changer on Thursday’s decision compared to the conversations that took place back on August 11 to postpone the season.
“Money has not been a big driver,” said Larry Scott on the call.