Report: Pac-12 Planning Loan Package to Aid Athletic Departments Amid Pandemic

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

FILE - This Aug. 29, 2019, file photo shows the PAC-12 logo at Sun Devil Stadium during second half of an NCAA college football game between Arizona State and Kent State in Tempe, Ariz. There are 130 major college football teams, spread across 41 states and competing in 10 conferences, save for a handful of independents. The goal is to have all those teams start the upcoming season at the same time — whether that's around Labor Day as scheduled or later — and play the same number of games.(AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)
Ralph Freso/Associated Press

Given the uncertainty around the college football season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Pac-12 conference is reportedly prepared to provide schools with loan packages. 

Per Jon Wilner of the Bay Area News Group, schools would receive "a maximum of $83 million for each university at a rate of 3.75 percent over 10 years" if the 2020 football season has to be canceled. 

Citing multiple sources, Wilner noted that some schools "would seek substantially less than the maximum allowable" and not every school is expected to take the loan. 

Last week, the Pac-12 CEO Group announced it approved a conference-only football schedule and start dates for men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, men's and women's cross country. 

In an article on The Players' Tribune published Sunday, Pac-12 football players wrote a letter outlining their "unity demands" if they are going to play games. 

Notable aspects of the letter include COVID-19 protections, including the "option not to play during the pandemic without losing athletics eligibility or spot on our team's roster." They players also requested measures to preserve all sports in the conference, form a civic-engagement task force to end racial injustice across college athletics and a 50-50 revenue split between the conference and athletes in each sport. 

If a school accepts a loan, Wilner said responsibility for repayment could shift to the university in 2024 "when the current media rights deals expire." New media rights contracts are also "expected to provide a significant increase in annual revenue."         

The regular season is scheduled to run from Sept. 26 through Dec. 5, with each team having one bye between Weeks 4 through 6. The Pac-12 Championship Game is scheduled to be played either Dec. 18 or 19.