The first domino has fallen. And it won’t be the last.
Bowdoin College announced they are canceling the Polar Bears football season. Some have criticized the decision as being premature given they did it on the second day of summer.
However at small and mid-level colleges and universities all across the country the same decision is being made, has been made or is about to be announced.
That most likely includes other local schools like Husson, Colby, MMA and potentially even at the Division I level at the University of Maine.
Let’s back up a little bit. You’ve probably seen in the news that big time schools and conferences are planning to play football this year. With or without fans in the stands. To be clear there’s a major difference between programs such as Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma compared to Maine, Albany and right down through the D-3 ranks.
In the SEC and other big conferences, even if they do not have butts in the seats they still have massive television contracts and bowl money to collect. But outside of the top FBS schools, that cash just doesn’t exist at the lower levels. So if you take away revenue from fans attendance, combined with the inherent health risks of traveling to different states many weekends throughout the fall, the risk and reward just don’t balance out.
At the small schools there’s no revenue to be had at all. Those kids pay tuition to come and play football. Most likely those kids will remain in school even if they can’t take to the field.
It’s a little more difficult at the University of Maine and the FCS level. They certainly do sell some tickets and have significant sponsorships. But again without massive TV contracts and considering the risk of bringing COVID back to the entire campus as the student athletes return to the classrooms on Monday, most likely administrators will just not allow that to happen.
So while I do believe there will be a college football season, I do not believe there will be one played anywhere within the Pine Tree State borders. Which domino falls next?