No USC football means losses of $50-60 million for athletic department

USC football head coach Clay Helton and AD Mike Bohn. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy)
USC football head coach Clay Helton and AD Mike Bohn. (Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy) /

With the loss of USC football in the fall, the Trojans can expect a huge financial hit.

How much are fall sports, including USC football, worth to Trojan athletics? A whole lot of money.

On Wednesday, USC athletic director Mike Bohn confirmed that the Utah athletic department’s expectation of a $50-60 million likely applies to the Trojans as well.

That’s because more than 80 percent of USC’s athletics revenue is tied up in fall football.

The cost of USC football not playing is massive.

Utah athletic director Mark Harlan revealed the huge loss for the Utes on a Zoom call with the media on Tuesday.

During a Wednesday media call on Zoom, Bohn answered in the affirmative when asked about USC’s expected losses by comparison.

MORE: Players react to the cancelation of the season

It will be up to the Pac-12 to give their member institutions a hand financially. Already Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News reported a plan which would bail out athletic departments.

Much of the USC media call was focused on questions for Dr. Seth Gambradt, one of the medical advisors who helped the Pac-12 come to the decision to postpone sports until 2021. He stressed the uncertainty around heart conditions and other health concerns related to COVID-19.

Ultimately, it was not knowing which convinced Clay Helton, Mike Bohn and the rest of the Pac-12 leadership to pull the plug on the season.

“I hope that the cardiac issue turns out to be overblown, but we don’t know that,” said Gamradt. “The uncertainty is what gives us pause.”

The financial cost couldn’t be lost on any of them.

You don’t throw $50 million down the drain for nothing.

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Helton highlighted his experience as a father to a 17-year-old boy and his commitment to treating each of his players like his children as well. The health concerns were great enough to accept the canceling of the season.

“This is the right decision when you put the health and safety of the student-athletes first,” Helton said.

Next. Another Year of 'So What? Now What?' for USC