The Pac-12 is putting together a loan program that could reach nearly $1 billion to help member universities should the football season not be played because of the coronavirus, The (San Jose) Mercury News reported Wednesday.
Citing internal documents and conference sources, the newspaper said each school would be allowed to borrow up to $83 million, to be paid back at an interest rate of 3.75 percent over a 10-year span.
Should each of the 12 schools take the maximum — which the report said was not expected — the bill could total $996 million. Among the universities, Stanford and Southern California are private, with the others all state-backed schools.
The Mercury News report said football generates more than $50 million each year for each campus. At Utah, for example, football brought in $66 million in revenues in the 2019 fiscal year, which represented about two-thirds of athletic revenues, per the report.
The Pac-12 announced last month it will play a conference-only schedule in all fall sports to limit travel and have greater control of protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, despite that precaution, there is doubt as to whether the season can be played.
Half of the member schools are in California and Arizona, states that have seen a large summer spike in COVID-19 cases. Los Angeles County, where USC and UCLA are located, leads the nation in confirmed cases since the pandemic began with more than 195,000, according to data from the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.
–Field Level Media