Money, Sponsors and Cancellations

With a lot of early season games already cancelled by the BIG and Pac 12 what does this do to sponsors who bought in for those August and September games? Do they get their money back?

Same question if the bowl games and national championship games are cancelled for the year. If a business borrowed money for expected sales tied to one of these, are they just stuck? Or is there a line out the door of every courthouse in the county with schools, conferences etc. getting sued?

Lots of legal actions. Attorneys who specialize in contract law should see additional work.

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All depends on the contracts. But in general, any money provided or committed too for services not provided, those monies would not be obligated as a general rule of thumb.

Based upon history, I would not be surprised if the conferences that have cancelled their nonconference schedules haven’t really thought through the revenue impact of their broadcast contracts. I have not read one article that addresses these cancel nonconference games even mention the revenue impact from their broadcast contracts. I would not be surprised if we hear soon, “Oh crap, we didn’t realize the loss of revenue from our broadcast contracts.”

Lots of business contracts got cancelled or shelved in March and April under Force Majeure clauses due to government enforcement of the shutdowns. I had one myself. But if you play some 9/12s of your games, it will be difficult to argue to cancel those contracts under Force Majeure clauses and with no government mandate for those types of events. I would hope that the G5 schools would get to reap some damages under those cancelled games if they so desire to pursue. But as some of the attorneys I work with love to say, “words matter”.

More than likely they would agree to a later game; especially if they ever want to be considered for more games in the future. For example, we still need one more game for the 2021 season, maybe we could postpoe the WSU game until then.

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But all depends on the contract. Remember we gave the Whorns an option like that and they perferred to write a check. Everyone has different needs in this environment. Sime may want cash now.

Not every P5 program is rolling in the dough like UT.

Typically if the service is not rendered then the contracts will either be adjusted, annulled or reworked.
This obviously won’t be in our favor.
There is also another huge caveat.
Let’s say our campus is closed for another semester. Will U of H charge the usual tuition or adjust it?
Harvard had the @#$%^&s to ask their students for full tuition after they cancelled their in class semester. You can be sure lawsuits are coming their way.

OTOH, a lot of costs borne by schools are fixed.

In theory, one would like a school to discount tuition for what is probably an inferior product. But professors, staff, custodians, police, etc., all still need to be paid. Maintenance needs to be performed. Utilities need to be paid.

Most schools probably don’t have a lot of discretionary spending in a fiscal year that they can just lop off. So they charge the same tuition and fees.

That was my point. Everyone has different financial situations. Those P5 checks that many G5 schools get may make or break their AD. Some may push for cash now (although much less)versus some TBD gane 3 or 4 years from now. All depends with the words in the contract, the options available, the cause of cancellation, and what is important to them today versus the future.

Its possible to see multiple sceanarios play out versus one size fits all.

As you know, it doesn’t matter what an entity’s cost basis is. In most cases did the buyer receive the value they were promissed for the price offered? From mid March through May, the value received by university instruction and overall education went way down and it was so unnecessary. A lot of pure laziness.

The issue what happened at most universities including my daughter’s is they didn’t move the class room lectures online. They just posted assignments and communications online and Q&A. Hopefully they could get the prof to answer their Q&A. Commications from professors to students went way down.

The technology is certainly there to have moved all lectures online without much being lost. Companies all over world did this in a heart beat, we absolutely did. Hell, we moved full day and multiday conferences online. Certainly a bit more work to move a conference online from a meeting or a workshop, but all doable.

If universities go to online in the fall they need to hold full lectures in class room setting online and none of this online posting of assignments only and little Q&A.

Some or many profs may not be use to this approach at 1st, there might be some value loss for awhile, but once they get more use to it the value of online class rooms should be close to in class room lectures.

Really no excuse this time around by universities. Anything less from online classroom lectures and without a doubt, the college students and their parents are not getting anywhere close to the value they deserve versus the extreme cost of a college education today.


The elephant in the room issue is not whether students/their parents will pay for instruction that is delivered solely on-line. They may have no choice, if that mode of learning is all that a school offers. The question becomes, would they continue to pay a whole lot of money for that type of solely electronic experience? - The underlying issue is, what is the in-person “college experience” worth?

The answer is above my pay grade, but I am a walking, talking testament to the fact that there is a whole lot more to college, even UH in the late 1960s-early 1970s for a working student from Houston, than just what is learned from books and lectures. And, it some ways, it is priceless.


But not by as many people. If there are no students on campus, some of the staff and custodians will be cut. Also many adjunct professors will have their classes combined with others taught be full time faculty or dropped leaving them without work.

Lectures being dropped was a big problem, but also students simply not logging in to the class. My classes in the spring did switch include online lecture, but it was a lot harder to focus, ask questions, or interact.

Most good teachers are moving away from just lecturing at the front of the class and are moving to more interactive methods and in-class activities with teams in addition to lecture. Lecture only does not work well with today’s college students, and we will be setting teaching standards back decades in some areas, but instead of daydreaming in class, they simply wont log on.

It will be a wasted school year for many students at all levels.

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I would think from an instruction standpoint, all of your teaching approaches you mentioned you utilized can be done online and effectively. Is that correct? I could see some of UH’s School of Theatre and Dance not being able to do online, but so much of a college education should be able to be done online and delivering pretty much the same value. It is just so much of it was not done effectively online from mid-March through May across the country. This has all fueled parents across the country to complain about the cost of college tuition vs what their kids received.

I know it is not an apples to apples comparison, but teaching HS online is 100% a different experience than teaching in person. The interaction and discussion is just not as good. From a college perspective, if you are talking about a 500 students giant lecture hall class for basic Freshman US History or College Algebra, maybe online is fine. But most of the classes I took at UH were smaller and warranted class discussion and group interaction. Most of the classes in the Radio/TV department were also project based and could not be done remotely. I imagine that is still the case. Online learning at full price is somewhat fraudulent IMO.

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Not correct. Online you can give a lecture and share screens. You can also create sub-groups to have discussions among students. However, it is not as effective as putting several students at a table and give them a project to solve that may involve something tangible. This can impact engineering classes, science labs, design and art classes, marketing courses, etc… Also teamwork development is simply slower and limited online as opposed to having students sit at a table and develop a business concept, passing notes around, and full discussions that don’t have audio difficulties if two people start to talk at once.

I teach graphic design, photography and lighting. Moving around a classroom to help as students develop ideas on paper is far more effective in person, teams getting together to develop an ad concept can be done online but is much slower, and I see limited responses and creative development. Watching photography and lighting videos is no where near as effective of sitting with a student to get them to create a good image.

Fully agree. Teachers at all levels were not prepared to teach online. It has many different challenges. I believe online has a place in teaching, but it is limited and better as hybrid to supplement face to face, not replace it.

Another limit, as really only a few students have the discipline for online as well.

Most of my electrical classes had about a dozen or so students. A few had 20 or so. We had a couple where we had to hire a couple of guys to make the minimum 10. It was an arrangement where they would drop as soon as the official count was in and not have it count against them. We would pay for their hours and the prof would be in on it, so they would not have it count, maybe they got a drop while passing or something, I don’t know how that part worked.

Transmission and Distribution was 11, but 6 were on their 2nd or 3rd try. They ended up changing their major.

I don’t know how most of those classes would do on line because we had lots of interaction and questions with the profs.

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OK - thanks for the examples. I figured activities where physical interaction such as buiding something physically would require in classroom. Its the reason I gave the theatre and dance classes.

I am a management consultant and primarily focus in the manufacturing, engineeering, and IT areas. Engineering and IT centers have been set up all over the world within corporations and do design work collaboratively for quite some time including their training. To me, that type of instruction wtih system tools and conducting design work should be able to be done online. But I can certainly see physical activities needing in-room instructions and activities. COVID has certainly accelerated virtual and remote so much more than historically and the push to do more remote and global is certainly being driven that way. It will be interesting to see post COVID if all that holds or if it swings back to some extent.

Three of my daughter’s four SMU classes will be online. The bio and chemistry labs plus statistics are currently scheduled to be in person. Even her acting class is online. My (SMU prof) wife went to online in March and still required attendance. However it’s not as robust as in person instruction. Being socially distanced in a classroom dramatically reduces capacity and takes more time to exit.

I am around a lot of engineers and computer software people, so familiar with it to some extent. I see it is done widely, but I think it helps more if you have people that know their systems and are not students trying to learn. I mean would you hire an engineer that had only online classes vs one that had face to face labs, if they made similar grades?

I would think being able to work in an online environment would be a resume plus after having the knowledge of engineering.

I do expect major improvements when there is more AR tools at hand that are widely used. I am looking forward to that. I can see schools fading at that point.

The world is a changing and complicated place. Sometimes cost factors outweigh quality factors, and sometimes the other way around. Too bad powers that be can’t put together a comprehensive outlook weighing all factors and opportunity costs and get football on the field this fall.

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