Saturday, August 15, 2020
By Brandon Sawyer, Portland Business Journal, 8-14-20
The Pac-12 followed the Big Ten and Mid-American conferences in canceling their fall sports seasons to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. Based on the 2018-19 academic year data from higher ed's Equity in Athletics Data Analysis system at the U.S. Department of Education, the Pac-12 conference, including University of California Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, may be forgoing about $1.3 billion in annual revenue by canceling athletic activity.
UCLA had 702 student athletes and USC had 576 in their athletic programs last year drawing an average of $181,395 and $206,054 of revenue to the schools, respectively. UCLA had a grand total of $127.3 million in athletic program revenue while USC drew $118.7 million, both ahead of the average for the Pac-12 conference, which was $106.4 million.
The biggest money maker at both Los Angeles schools was, of course, men's football, with the UCLA Bruins bringing in $41.3 million and the USC Trojans collecting $50 million. Next up was men's basketball, raising $12 million at UCLA and $6.3 million at USC. Basketball was the top-grossing sport for women at both colleges, bringing in $1 million at UCLA and $2.8 million at USC. The deferred season will not only dim the prospects for more than a thousand student athletes in the state, it will make college life a lot less exciting for tens of thousands of Los Angeles college students and likely cost the institution's hundreds of millions of dollars.
Note: The article appears to be referring to gross revenue, not net. The degree to which the loss would spread beyond the athletic programs is not clear.