Coburn details budget complexities, scheduling options for FSU athletics

Florida State athletics director David Coburn provided extensive updates at Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting. Here are some highlights:

Budget update: Coburn confirmed some prior published reports which indicated a $2.2 million-$2.5 million reduction in ACC distribution in the 2019-20 fiscal year due to the loss of the ACC men’s basketball tournament and NCAA Tournaments tournaments. FSU will realize some savings with no sports being played, specifically travel expenses. How the budget for the fiscal year wraps up remains to be seen. Between the hurricane that impacted the FSU-Boise State opener to the football coaching change and coronavirus, budgeting has “been an interesting year.” FSU athletics administrators are planning to develop budget scenarios for next year – “I don’t think any of them will be pretty,” Coburn said. “One of them will be a scenario without football. And I would just say God help us (if that happens).” Coburn said the ACC is looking at all scheduling options, including one where football moves to the spring. In that option they would also coordinate with the NFL, which annually holds an April draft.

Spring sports athletes returning: Coburn thinks about 20 seniors are interested in returning in spring sports for 2021. “We continue to work with our coaches on the numbers,” Coburn said. It’s a number that could fluctuate as some look to pursue their pro prospects – the MLB amateur draft is still on for this summer, as an example. All spring sports athletes will be able to return in 2021 with the same status as they had in school in 2020.

NCAA meetings next week: The NCAA Division I Council will have a meeting late next week where discussions will include name, image and likeness legislation as well as a measure to allow a one-time transfer without making an athlete sit out an athletics season in sports like football, basketball and baseball. Coburn said he expects the one-time transfer legislation to pass. A vote on the NIL measure may not come until May, Coburn said.

ACC working group: Coburn stated that an ACC working group is looking into ways to save money, reduce travel, plan for scheduling contingencies and more. He said the NCAA has a similar working group. It’s clear that at FSU, the ACC and NCAA, everyone is looking at scenarios with a full schedule or one that includes a limited number of games for a variety of sports.

Saturday on social media: FSU will release a video Saturday morning that features a look around the football stadium with voice overs from coaches. There will be a simulated spring game that will air on FSU football’s social media accounts at 5 p.m.

Search for new boosters president: Seminole Boosters president and CEO Andy Miller has announced his plans to retire and stay on as a consultant for a year. Coburn said that the search for Miller’s replacement is continuing and they hope to have a replacement in place this fall.

President John Thrasher also on weekly calls: FSU president John Thrasher also said he has been involved on weekly calls with ACC presidents and chancellors. He was asked early in the BOT call on Friday about when the university could re-open and said a decision will be made in the July timeframe. “It really depends on the health and safety aspects,” Thrasher said.