Football found a way because of large network and conference network money.
Nope. Sorry. They found a way because they wanted to and came up with work arounds and put protocols in place that seem to be working.
Only football came up with the "work arounds and put protocols in place"? So if the soccer programs came to to the athletic director and president of a school with the same "work arounds and protocols" they would be playing? That makes no sense. Then everyone would be playing. Even after cancelling their fall seasons the PAC12 and Big Ten came back to football seeing the money left on the table. This is an excerpt from the New York Times article about why football is being played:
"The decisions by the leagues — some publicly unflinching, others openly deliberating from one month to the next — carry enormous implications for college athletics. By playing football, even without every stadium packed with fans, schools across the country will collectively earn hundreds of millions of dollars from broadcast rights and sponsorships that will prop up budgets that had been threatened with severe cuts."
Power conference football is a huge money generating college sport. They are not playing football at lower conferences because there is no network money. Don't be surprised if winter sports are cancelled by power conferences too--except mens basketball.
Oh really. ..,. Wrong.....See you should have googled before you answered. ....NCAA study in 2019 found only 20 of 1,000 college football teams were profitable. Many lower conference football is being played. Now..... do your homework and find out how many college basketball programs are profitable. The # will surprise you.
There are 674 collegiate football programs; 257 Division I, 167 Division II and 250 Division III. The "study" you note highlighted the top 20 most profitable programs as the result of legislation in some states to pay players (California leading the way). The 20th team made $28 million; I don't think #21 was in the red. Football is the number one generator of revenue which is passed along to other sports programs (for the Big East its basketball). The vast majority of D1 programs are profitable but here is the 20 noted in the 2019 NCAA report (which was not a "study"; each school must report to the NCAA the revenue and expenses for every sport every year):
Texas – $92 million
Tennessee – $70 million
LSU – $58 million
Michigan – $56 million
Notre Dame – $54 million
Georgia – $50 million
Ohio State – $50 million
Oklahoma – $48 million
Auburn – $47 million
Alabama – $46 million
Oregon – $40 million
Florida State – $39 million
Arkansas – $38 million
Washington – $38 million
Florida – $37 million
Texas A&M – $37 million
Penn State – $36 million
Michigan State – $32 million
USC – $29 million
South Carolina – $28 million
Basketball has more games but lower margins so again, most D1 programs are profitable. Louisville is the perennial #1 in this regard with profits over $40 million.
EDIT-You may be referencing the NCAA Annual report which represents 1,100 schools and ALL sports.
Cmon.... you went with the Athnet stats that didn’t mention EXPENSES. Sooo... I will give a few...
Texas A&M-rev $212M. Expenses-$170M
Ohio State-rev-$210M. Expenses-$221M
Penn State-rev-$164M. Expenses-$160M
I won’t list all 227 listed by NCAA.
Anyhow NCAA study admits that the college accounting Fromm school to school is not uniform.
Now ...... you have proven my point. There are 893 college football programs spanning Div 1, Div 2, Div 3, NAIA, NJCAA. On low side say 20 are PROFITABLE that represents approx 2%. Let’s say 40 are PROFITABLE that represents 4%. We can continue with the simple math. But the facts are most football programs don’t turn a profit. The statement that these football programs bankroll all the other sports programs at a college is just false except for a small percentage.
You can google numerous articles about why have college sports. As you can see approximately 95% of colleges subsidize their athletics. Why??? To summarize here are a few reasons
Enrollment-many non student athletes choose a college because of game day social activity
Branding-school spirit and fan loyalty
Long term fan support and alumni camaraderie.
Sense of unity and pride among fans and alumni.
Overall student experience.
This conversation began with football finding a way to play within the current covid nonsense rules. football found a way to play and it should be a template for other college sports to find a way to play. As indicated above college athletics touches many students other than the student athlete. In addition colleges recruited athletes of all sports to come to their college. College admin and AD’s should be finding ways to play not sit on their hands and tell student athletes sorry... season cancelled. Again... football did.