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Mountain West, Aztecs Postpone Fall Sports Seasons Due To COVID-19

 August 11, 2020 at 10:14 AM PDT

Speaker 1: 00:00 In a decision that is controversial, but not surprising. Fall sports at San Diego state university are canceled, perhaps postpone Hill spring, UC San Diego has also made a cancellation announcement as has USD. This includes of course football and the decision goes for all colleges in both the mountain West conference where SDSU plays and the big West conference for UCS D school presidents and athletic directors decided to pull the plug because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Joining me to discuss this as veteran San Diego sports commentator Lee Hacksaw Hamilton league. Welcome back to midday today. Speaker 2: 00:35 Yeah. Nice to chat with you again, Mark. And obviously this is a very tough emotional time for everybody at San Diego state at USG at UCS. And obviously this is spreading around the country. Cause every conference in the nation is having to make very, very tough decisions. Speaker 1: 00:52 One of the things that's popping up in these stories about this as possible longterm heart effects that could be linked to the Corona virus, big factor here. What's known about that. Speaker 2: 01:01 Well, there's a whole number of things that have to be considered here. I think the cancellations have to occur because of the explosiveness of the outbreaks in the far West, in addition to what's happening in other parts of the country had to occur because I think the NCAA has done a terrible job, an agregious job and not putting in a nationwide testing program for all the division one conferences around the country. And I think as we've gathered more information on a week by week basis, there's more medical data that's coming available. That is scaring the daylights out of these athletic directors and these presidents and the stuff that is just spilled out in the last 72 hours about side effects involving inflammation to the heart of athletes has to really send a red flag up the pole. We've already seen the number one picture of the Boston red Sox baseball team, go to the hospital and been ruled out for the whole season. He was the first one that went public with this inflammation of the heart. And it's very serious and we'd have at least five other players in the big 10 conference right now who got the disease. They have heart inflammation problems. So all this has just exploded on the scene. I, I use the term very fluid, but the longer we go, the more information we get and I think the more scared people are, Speaker 1: 02:19 And we should note it. Football is the thing that a lot of people talk about we're talking about, but affects several other women's and men's sports in the fall. Uh, getting back to football, how big is football when it comes to the athletic program at say, San Diego state university, how much revenue are we talking about? Speaker 2: 02:35 Well, the Aztec football contract with the new deal, they're going to put in place with CVS. We'll get them, I believe $3.1 million per year in TV revenue. That that would be for football as well as Aztec basketball. Uh, now, if there is no football ever played this year, then they're going to lose a chunk of that money. If that money is deferred, because they're going to go to a spring schedule, they'll still get that money. I asked specifics about dollar, have not gotten a response yet in terms of what Aztec football brings in on a Saturday by Saturday night gate receipt, I have not gotten those totals. There was a revenue sharing plan that the mountain West conference splits with each of the schools by virtue of the TV contract. Uh, we don't have the dollar value of that yet, but a football everywhere is fueled the rest of the athletic department. So everybody's taken a huge financial hit on this. Speaker 1: 03:25 [inaudible] says, they'll continue to practice this fall based on NCAA guidance. What does that mean Speaker 2: 03:30 Guidance? They don't have that blueprint put in place yet, but there's plenty of time to do that. I think the big issue for Mark Emmert and the NCAA is you've got to come into agreement on a national testing program and they never did. I mean, we're five months into this crisis and they don't have a national testing program. I was appalled this past week when I found out that the NCAA said, test 25 players a week, you got 85 players in camp. How can you test just 25? What about your coaches? What about your staff? It all spins back obviously to the plus factor of doing this massive testing in terms of scheduling. You got plenty of time. It is mid August. You can shut everything down right now and you can then put together a blueprint in which we're going to hold off season practices. We're going to take what would normally be spring practice. And we'll let you do it in October, November in December, take a break, come back in January open camp. Let's go play a spring schedule in March. So I think they've got a lot of breathing room to Dubai's off season regimen. Speaker 1: 04:35 Now we have an odd situation where the old stadium in mission Valley, they're going to have a new football stadium. They're wondering about a demolition timetables on that. Do you think this affects that at all, not having a fall football scheduled or they start demo there, then they don't have a place to play. If they do want to come back, it's kind of a mess. Speaker 2: 04:54 Well, at this point in time, the stadium is not going to be torn down. Uh, they haven't even turned the first shovel of dirt and the corner of the Malott it's SDCU stadium. Uh, I asked that question to J D Wicker weeks ago and he said, no, the state funds and the purchase of that land and the blueprint for the construction of a stadium is full speed. Go. This is not going to happen overnight. This is going to take a long period of time. So I don't think what's happening with our athletic world right now impacts what they're going to do on the corner piece of property off friars road. Speaker 1: 05:27 I've been speaking with veterans San Diego sports commentator Lee Hacksaw, Hamilton, whose blog is Lee Hacksaw, hamilton.com. Thanks very much. Speaker 2: 05:34 My pleasure. Glad to do it. Speaker 3: 05:43 [inaudible].

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The Mountain West Conference, which includes San Diego State, announced Tuesday it was postponing its football and other fall sports season indefinitely because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
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