NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – ABC College Football analyst Jesse Palmer, like everyone else, cannot predict what the upcoming football season will look like, but he understands its importance.
Whether football happens with empty stadiums, stadiums with social distancing guidelines or even in the spring, college football is the lifeblood for universities and small towns.
“This definitely has a financial impact in a lot of different ways if football cannot be played,” said Palmer.
First, the university athletic programs that don’t play in front of a hundred thousand fans or whose games are aired during prime time network television will hurt.
“I think in most cases the football program alone and the revenue they’re able to drive in, I think makes up for about 80 percent of the entire athletic budget for a lot of these universities,” said Palmer. “So without that income coming in, without that television revenue, all that stuff, it impacts the budget which means it impacts other sports. You’ve started to see now programs across the country are already cutting other sports.”
Cincinnati cut its men’s soccer program, for example. The loss of income also affects the town around the university, especially smaller towns where a lot of major college programs are located.
“It’s only 6-7 weekends per year, but it means so much.”
Palmer will be part of ABC’s coverage of the upcoming NFL Draft beginning Thursday night. Emily Proud also spoke to him about the unique draft and what the Titans could do with the 29th overall pick: