MISSOULA — The University of Montana recently held a media call with athletic director Kent Haslam and football coach Bobby Hauck to discuss the state of Griz football and the financial burden of losing a season of spring sports.
The NCAA made a historic decision on March 12 to cancel the remaining winter and spring sports seasons amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
That meant that Griz basketball, golf, track and field, softball and tennis were either cut short or canceled before they got to the regular season.
From a financial standpoint the University of Montana, like others across the nation are taking a hit.
“Softball is really our revenue-generating sport we have in the spring, it's the only one we charge admission to,” Haslam said. That's probably about a $10,000-$15,000 revenue source for us.”
While that is a loss, the university has savings and can easily recover from the loss of spring sports. However, if this bleeds into Fall, Haslam knows it could be a much bigger blow.
“I never want to dismiss something significant, but obviously this would be far more impactful if this was coming into the fall,” he said.
While football is still a way away, Spring camp was cut short this year.
We did get 40% of our spring ball in, which was great. I thought our guys have a great work ethic for a football team. We had great work when we were out there, I was really, really enthused about it,” Hauck said.”
While Hauck was happy with what he saw, he knows they now face an uphill challenge with not only on fieldwork but in the virtual classroom as well.
"Every day we can't train, we've got erosion of all the work we've done. We have to take care of school, which is important. We communicate via text and email, but pushups don't replace weightlifting,” Hauck concluded.