College Covid Collateral Damage - Athletics

The massive financial strain on institutions of higher learning has begun to manifest itself in the Athletic Department’s budget.

So far the following programs have been discontinued:

Akron Men’s Cross Country
Akron Men’s Golf
Akron Women’s Tennis
Alabama-Huntsville Men’s Hockey
Appalachian State Men’s Soccer
Appalachian State Men’s Tennis
Appalachian State Men’s Indoor Track
Bowling Green Men’s Baseball
Central Michigan University Men’s Track & Field
Cincinnati Men’s Soccer
East Carolina Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving
East Carolina Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Fayetteville State Women’s Tennis
Florida International University Men’s Indoor Track & Field
Furman Men’s Baseball
Furman Men’s Lacrosse
Notre Dame De Namur eliminated all 12 athletic programs
Old Dominion Men’s Wrestling
Sonoma State Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Sonoma State Women’s Water Polo
St. Edward’s University Men’s & Women’s Golf
St. Edward’s University Men’s Soccer
St. Edward’s University Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Urbana University **closed/b
Wisconsin Green-Bay Men’s & Women’s Tennis

The list of employees furloughed from college athletic departments is too long to compile. Coaches and support staff that remain are all facing salary cuts.

What happens to the recruiting budget? Will scholarships begin to evaporate? How does a potential recruit navigate their way through this storm?

Pre-Covid, it was difficult enough to find an athletic and academic match. The post-Covid world now adds the wrinkle of needing to assess team viability going forward.

This board is full of wisdom and applied knowledge, but no one has experience with something like this. What do you make of the “new normal” in college athletics?

This site is keeping a pretty good list too. https://hoopdirt.com/the-list-college-athletics-teams-cut-sports-suspended-and-schools-closed/

If football doesn’t go this fall, there will be many more cuts, IMO.

@Mwfan1921 Thanks for that link!

I really think you have to love the school first, the program second and the coach third, esp if your in a non revenue sport, same as if on day 1 you rip up your knee and your done, do you still love the school and get a good education. Most college kids who do sports more than likely keep the same coaches so maybe flip 2 and 3.

I agree the school has to come first, but so hard to make a decision without seeing the school…a situation some of the 2021 recruits are likely to face.

NCAA extended the dead period for DI again today, now thru July 31. Not sure how the coaches are going to get things wrapped up early…maybe we see more student athletes commit later (fewer EDs and SCEA/REAs).

Breaks my heart for the class of 2021 who are trying to be recruited, including my S21 in baseball. Not only the dead period, but the lack of testing. I know it’s stressing out the college coaches too.

Maybe this is the year the D3 coaches might have the edge for the athletes who they could normally lose to the Ivies, or Patriot league schools. But, I have not heard that D3 schools are going to keep to their normal timelines either, e.g., NESCACs with their July 1 pre-read start date and such.

I’ve spoken with several coaches (D1 and D3) and many parents of recruits (D1 and D3) and the messages are pretty similar…

Most 2021 players projected to be a D1 contributor have already been recruited and committed. There are still those non-priority and low level D1 players who need to find a home, but those are also the ones who would be a better fit for a D3 program.

The 2021 D3 recruits are in a tough spot, but at least they can have conversations with coaches since there is no D3 dead period.

The 2022 D1 recruits (and D3 to an extent) are in a tough spot, but at least they have another year to be recruited, which is now going to be extremely condensed.

As for the elimination of programs, I don’t think you’re going to see that happen often at the D3 level which sports are a way to generate tuition dollars and they don’t have the same scholarship expenses as D1.

Those recruits already on a coach’s radar are fine (at both D1 and D3). Those who would have been (due to being seen in the Spring) but are not now, are not so fine.

So, possibly a smaller number of offers, but similarly a smaller chance of being displaced by a newer recruit.

I believe the NESCAC is keeping to its usual timetable of starting prereads in July.

This is too broad a brush and just not true. There are thousands of DI sports athletic slots not yet filled. Thousands.

Many people don’t understand how late the recruiting process actually goes every year. 2020’s can sign NLIs until Aug 1 this summer…2020s.

As of March 1 this year, there were over 40 DI baseball teams still with scholarships available for Class of 2020.

I could go on an on but will stop there.

Also, I know that some D3 schools, pre-Covid, took whether an athlete was full pay into account when deciding to make offers. I believe post-Covid this will be even more important, and at a greater number of institutions.

Another effect: fewer international players who were on full rides? More spots for US players?

Good points on the full pay and international players. Agree that full pays will be at a greater advantage, even many need blind schools find out the FA status of athletic recruits before offering a slot/spot.

In DI/II for internationals I think the scholarships must be honored for those students, even if they can’t get here…I imagine schools and NCAA are working on exactly the options if internationals can’t get here in the late summer/fall. Not sure if internationals from class of 2021 will be at a disadvantage or not.

First some back ground. My D is a 2021 high academic good but not great swimmer. NESCAC level.

Here is what I have heard from my D and her friends:

  • Every D3 wants to know if we’re full pay. “Run the NPC and let me know what you get” Maybe that’s normal, but I didn’t expect it to be so blunt.
  • The outside benefits are evaporating. No training trip, less free swimsuits and clothing, etc. I have a bad feeling parents will be paying for more stuff.
  • Only about half of the D1 kids have committed. There isn’t a lot of scholarship money available in swimming so kids focus more on fit.
  • This is a n=1 data point, but a top Ivy took a swimmer off the waitlist. Coach called to see if she was available and an hour later she was accepted off the waitlist. crazy. I think this means there was some COVID melt of the 2020 class.
  • Coaches seem to be scared to commit to anything next season and beyond. Practice? Travel? Size of staff? This makes it hard to pick a school.
  • Coaches seem to want test scores. My D has scores, but some of her friends are sweating it.

D19 also is a recruited athlete at a NESCAC.

Every single coach, DI and DIII, directly asked us if we would be applying for FA. When we said no, every single coach said something along the lines of ‘that’s good’ or ‘that makes it easier’.

I continue to work with athletes during the recruiting process, and have noticed that more and more recruiting questionnaires have added a question ‘will you be applying for FA’…including at ‘need blind’ schools.

Definite melt is happening. Some 2020 athletes have just applied to schools that now finds themselves with an athletic spot…they weren’t waitlisted, they had never even applied. Some of these opportunities have scholarship $ too.

I am seeing the same…no score, won’t go on in the process, sometimes even at a test optional school.

Many think the NCAA might grant 2021s relief from test scores like they did for the 2020s, but many schools do limit the number of test optional students they accept (and would prefer to reserve those acceptances for non-athlete applicants).

It’s all so complicated.

THIS is why I started this topic. An already complicated process has become even more so thanks to the financial implications of shutting down the country.

@Mwfan1921 and other parents - do these observations apply across the board for all sports? Or certain disciplines only, i.e. non revenue sports seeing the brunt of the repercussions? For now, it does seem that those not requiring FA will have an advantage even with lower rankings, lower test scores (if they even have), etc.?

Can you share where you sourced the information that 40 D1 baseball programs had unassigned athletic dollars on 3/1? I’m not doubting you, I’ve just never seen data like that posted anywhere before and am curious where it comes from. Given that there are a total of 300 D1 baseball programs and it is often suggested that at least half of the programs are not fully funded to the 11.7 allowed, baseball money is usually very, very difficult to come by. If you’d prefer to PM me, that’s OK too.

I should have said some still with scholarships, apologies. I agree with you that not all the DI schools fully fund their teams, and probably fewer will going forward. And we are down two DI baseball programs just in the last week or so (Bowling Green and Furman)!

The 40 with slots number came from a baseball recruiter who I sometimes work with, and I trust what he says.

Posting this here too, posted by @RockySoil

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/athletic-recruits/2188153-brown-downgrading-varsity-sports-to-club-status.html#latest

@Mwfan1921, that Brown shift is huge! I wonder which schools will be following suit.

Yes, not sure…the changes did come out of a study over a year ago, they say it’s not covid related but more related to underperforming in athletics.

The total athletic dollars and number of athletic recruits is going to stay the same per the communication. So sailing moves up to varsity and gets some of the slots from the downgraded sports, and other sports must be getting more recruits that before too.

I do thing more schools will make covid changes though. Interesting times!

UPDATE 5/28/20

So far the following programs have been discontinued:

Akron Men’s Cross Country
Akron Men’s Golf
Akron Women’s Tennis
Alabama-Huntsville Men’s Hockey
Appalachian State Men’s Soccer
Appalachian State Men’s Tennis
Appalachian State Men’s Indoor Track
Bowling Green Men’s Baseball
Brown Men’s & Women’s Fencing
Brown Men’s & Women’s Golf
Brown Women’s Skiing
Brown Men’s & Women’s Squash
Brown Women’s Equestrian
Brown Men’s Track & Field
Brown Men’s Cross Country
Central Michigan University Men’s Track & Field
Cincinnati Men’s Soccer
East Carolina Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving
East Carolina Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Fayetteville State Women’s Tennis
Florida International University Men’s Indoor Track & Field
Furman Men’s Baseball
Furman Men’s Lacrosse
Notre Dame De Namur eliminated all 12 athletic programs
Old Dominion Men’s Wrestling
Sonoma State Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Sonoma State Women’s Water Polo
St. Edward’s University Men’s & Women’s Golf
St. Edward’s University Men’s Soccer
St. Edward’s University Men’s & Women’s Tennis
Urbana University **closed/b
Wisconsin Green-Bay Men’s & Women’s Tennis