Kyle Veazey of the Memphis Commercial Appeal asks you to imagine what it would be like if college football were gone:
“People have their livelihoods around this,” [Ole Miss AD Ross] Bjork said. He’s one of them. Would an athletic director be worth $400,000 — his salary — without a football program that brings in more than half of the revenue? Concession vendors would lay off employees. Security firms wouldn’t need the extra help. Restaurants, assuming they survive, would no longer hire the small armies that work their tables on football weekends. There may even be — gasp! — fewer sports reporters. Business deals made at tailgates would have to be made elsewhere, or nowhere.
Notable by its absence in the discussion is the NCAA, which would more or less not be affected by the disappearance of football. If anything, getting rid of football helps the NCAA by removing a massive cost that provides essentially no revenue and frees NCAA resources to focus on other sports. As far as what athletic departments would do, isn’t the answer obvious? Basketball gets bigger. A roof on Commonwealth Stadium for the Wildcats maybe?