Dramatic changes to the football schedule were bound to happen this fall. And there could continue to be more in the weeks and months ahead, bringing far-reaching financial implications to Florida State athletics.
Brett McMurphy of WatchStadium.com reported Thursday afternoon that ACC football teams were expected to only play games against league schools in 2020, putting the FSU-Florida game in jeopardy as well as a non-conference opener against West Virginia in Atlanta. The ACC would be following an example of the Big Ten, which also is adjusting its schedule to playing only league schools.
The coronavirus pandemic has made any planning for the football season difficult. But if the ACC moves ahead there are questions of how many conference games will be played – 8, 9 or 10? And what will happen to existing contracts between FSU and West Virginia, which has a $4.25 million guarantee to each school – both of which are counting on those dollars toward their 2020-21 athletics budgets. FSU is also on the hook for a $450,000 guarantee with Samford for a game on Sept. 12.
Warchant.com reported as many as 25 positions in the athletics department would be cut. It’s not clear who has been laid off or in what departments as well as if any are coaches.
“We have eliminated some positions within both Athletics and Seminole Boosters,” FSU spokesperson Rob Wilson said in a statement to the media Thursday evening. “Out of respect for our employees who have just been notified, we will not comment on this matter until some time tomorrow.”