UCF athletic director Danny White has a really outsized voice in the college athletics world for a Group of 5 AD. Overseeing a recent undefeated football season and declaring your program “national champions” will do that.
Amid the current ongoing health crisis, White has been a pretty active voice as well. A few weeks ago, after the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament, he was not shy in admitting his concern for how things will go for his school and college sports as a whole. “We have a small amount of capital reserves, but they aren’t significant enough where they would be a solution if we can’t make debt payments,” he previously told Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel. White called the idea of losing college football this fall “devastating” to UCF financially.
On Tuesday, the Orlando Sentinel published a longer interview with White on a host of issues. Things were not as doom and gloom in this Q&A with Matt Murschel, but he still expressed plenty of concern going forward. Among the more interesting aspects of the discussion was the breakdown of where schools are saving and losing money this spring.
One of the new expenses that Danny White is very supportive of, is the NCAA rule allowing spring athletics seniors to return for their 2021 seasons. He also supports a potential appeal to allow winter athletes to do the same, something that was voted down on Monday. At the same time, he floated the idea of the federal government providing financial relief to schools to offset some of these one-time costs associated with this unique situation.
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) April 1, 2020
“I think there are going to be a lot of scenarios where there are one-time challenges,” White says. “We’ve just got to find a way and hopefully, there’s ways with federal and state support, one-time relief to help us get through the next 12 months or so.”
The federal government is set to dole out a ton of money to various industries, as well as individuals over the next few months. It is hard to see college athletics being one of them, with so many greater concerns out there.
Everything has been turned on its head over the last few weeks though, so it is hard to really know what will happen.