Changes coming? COVID-19 forcing conferences to consider alternatives for non-revenue sports
College sports, especially at the Division I level, require a lot of traveling. In the ACC, Boston College has to travel to Miami for conference games.
In the Big 12, Texas has to travel to West Virginia. In the Big Ten, Nebraska has to go to Rutgers.
At the non-Power 5 level, there are also plenty of long road trips. Could that be coming to an end for non-revenue sports in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic?
An interesting report from Yahoo’s Pete Thamel on Tuesday suggested that “scheduling alliances” could help reduce travel costs for those non-revenue sports:
One issue being heavily discussed, especially on the Eastern seaboard, is scheduling alliances to save travel costs for non-revenue sports. Using Old Dominion as an example, it makes little sense for its baseball team to travel in Conference USA league games to play at Rice (in Houston), FIU (in South Florida) and Louisiana Tech (in Ruston). Why not James Madison, Richmond and Georgetown? They are all in different leagues, but it would make much more sense.
One anonymous athletic director went on to use Conference USA as an example for the need for scheduling alliances:
“Can you imagine being Conference USA or the AAC and you’re sending your baseball team to UTEP or Tulsa,” the AD said, using hypothetical geographic outliers. “It doesn’t make any sense. Much like everything, we’ve done this to ourselves. For us to not think about regional scheduling alliances is complete lunacy.”
Nothing is final as of yet, of course, but certain sports could look drastically different on the other side of the pandemic.