AMES, Iowa — 2020 won't have a Cy-Hawk football game, but Iowa State University Athletics Director Jamie Pollard believes the Cyclones could still have fall sports.
"While we cannot eliminate all of the risk associated with athletic competition, under current conditions we believe that moving forward with fall sports can be accomplished," Pollard wrote in a Monday letter to fans. "We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic presents a constantly changing decision-making environment and changing health and safety conditions may not allow sports to proceed. This is why it is so important to discuss and develop contingency plans should the pandemic worsen."
Only three cases have been reported out of 160 Cyclone football players and staff, according to the letter.
Pollard also writes:
"The Iowa State athletics budget does not include any state or university funding and relies mainly on television revenues, private donations and ticket sales. If those revenues decrease dramatically or are eliminated, we will have unfunded financial obligations. The remedies to having unfunded financial obligations are significant and would require us to explore options that may include operational reductions or eliminations, layoffs, and even elimination of sport programs."
Pollard notes the cancellation of fall sports would create around $40 million in unfunded expenses, and that the university has already incurred an estimated $73 million in lost revenues and costs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Big 12 Conference has yet to make a final decision on fall sports.
Pollard's letter says the school is working hard on mitigation efforts for fans
Below is a snapshot of the Cyclone athletics budget included in the letter.