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SLATE: Can Kansas State sports bear up financially under COVID?

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It all depends on football.

Plus: Skylar Thompson gets inspirational
Plus: Skylar Thompson gets inspirational
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

As discussions continue on the topic of when universities will reopen to physical teaching, and whether sports will be affected this year, Kurtis Quillin of KECN-TV in Temple, Tex., did a nice investigative report on the total revenue at Big 12 schools and just how much of that comes from football.

First, the bragging part: Texas is the only school which generates more profit via its athletic program than Kansas State, and it’s not even close. In 2018-19, K-State turned a tidy $7.7M profit, That’s dwarfed by the $40M in profit generated by Texas, but the only other Big 12 school showing seven figures is Texas Tech, checking in at $2.74M.

Interestingly, should COVID affect the football season, K-State might be in better shape than its rivals. Only three Big 12 schools earn less revenue from the football program itself, and all of those schools effectively report $0 profit for the overall athletic program. To put this in perspective, subtracting football revenue entirely from the 2018-19 figures would leave K-State showing roughly a $38M deficit... while that $40M Texas profit would turn into a $116M loss and Oklahoma’s essentially balanced P&L statement would suddenly reflect a $95M hit. K-State suffered a $13M loss across the department in 2018-19 if you ignore football; compare that to Oklahoma, whose non-football balance sheet reads out a loss of $34M.

It’s going to be exceptionally rough on the bean counters if football does not return, but for schools like K-State, perhaps years of profitability will make this year’s body blow easier to absorb.

Meanwhile, over on Twitter, Skylar Thompson got inspirational:

Thompson committed to K-State the day before Mother’s Day in 2015, and it’s an important day to him for obvious reasons. It’s a story we’ve all heard before, but today, 16 years to the day after Teresa Thompson’s battle with breast cancer came to an end, it’s worth hearing again.

We hope your Mother’s Day doesn’t have that weight, and that you enjoyed your Sunday activities. Especially those of you who, you know, are actually mothers.