The cancellation of fall football means the loss of tens of millions of dollars in revenue for most Big Ten member schools. That is being felt in their athletic department budgets. The University of Iowa fired the first shot on Friday. Axed are Hawkeye men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis, and men’s and women’s swimming. They will all fold after this school year. Iowa said it had to pull the trigger on the moves, with little warning, due to a looming $75 million loss. Iowa and Nebraska have been vocal detractors of the conference’s decision on football. It is possible that this could be a way to put pressure on the Big Ten to reverse itself.
In the spring, Minnesota’s athletic director said all options are on the table, including potentially killing sports programs. Michigan State University says it expects to see revenue from the athletic department fall by over 50%, from $140 million to $55 million. For sports that do not generate cash, they are no longer being subsidized by other teams. Having no football breaks the business model. There have been no similar announcements made by the University of Wisconsin-Madison yet.