Nationwide Survey of Collegiate Senior Administrators Finds Student-Athlete Well-Being & Financial Implications of No Football as Top Concerns
Survey conducted by Teamworks reveals risk mitigation and expectations for fall sports from senior collegiate administrators in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
DURHAM – [Thursday, July 30, 2020] – Teamworks, the leading athlete engagement platform for collegiate and professional organizations, announced today the results of its “Impact of Coronavirus on Collegiate Return to Play” survey.
The survey polled senior leadership across NCAA Division I institutions to gather feedback on current issues facing collegiate athletics including the transition back to campus, the impending football season, and establishing financial security amidst COVID-19.
“COVID-19 has disrupted the sports industry in unprecedented ways, and collegiate administrators are being forced to make decisions for their athletic departments without a historical standard to reference,” said Zach Maurides, CEO and Founder of Teamworks. “As we all navigate this uncharted territory together, we felt it necessary to capture the primary concerns and real-time decision-making collegiate administrators are facing going into the fall season. It is clear maintaining student-athlete physical and mental well-being is still a top priority and one that will continue to require deep engagement and transparent communication from coaches and staff to ensure student-athletes have the resources they need.
“Administrators remain optimistic that, at a minimum, conference football will be played during the 2020-21 school year,” said Maurides. “As athletic departments continue to enact a multitude of operational changes and safety precautions to prepare for the upcoming year, what can be assured is that college football, if played, will look different than in years past and the safety of student-athletes, coaches and staff will continue to carry the most weight in decision-making processes.”
Below are key findings from the Teamworks “Impact of Coronavirus on Collegiate Return to Play” survey.
Student-athlete physical and mental well-being remain top concerns
Similar to the “State of Athletics in the Face of Coronavirus” survey in April, Teamworks’ follow-up survey shows that collegiate administrators continue to remain very focused on supporting student-athlete physical and mental well-being. More than 70% of respondents listed sport performance and mental health as the top two issues impacting student-athletes. Academic progress was ranked as the third most impacted by respondents.
Strong return of student-athletes to campus
Nearly 80% of respondents have offered a voluntary return to on-campus training for student-athletes. 40% of respondents indicated that at least 50% of their student-athletes have elected to return to campus. While the majority of respondents have seen positive COVID-19 tests amongst both student-athletes and staff, with higher numbers for student-athletes, 81% indicated that they have not had to temporarily suspend workouts as a result of positive COVID-19 tests. Departments have introduced a wide range of preventative measures, including socially distanced training and daily wellness screenings, to proactively limit the spread.
Confidence in a 2020-2021 football season
More than 55% of respondents believe that, at a minimum, conference football will be played across either the fall or spring. Only 5% of respondents believe no fans will be allowed this season, but more than 85% of respondents plan to have their stadiums filled at less than 50% capacity.
Bracing for a significant financial impact
In the 2019-20 fiscal year, 60% of respondents experienced a 20% or less decrease in their department’s revenue. In comparison, 70% of respondents predict over a 20% decrease in 2020-21 revenue, with 40% of those respondents predicting a decrease over 30%. 67% of respondents believe they will have to reduce team operating budgets, and 22% anticipate furloughing staff as a result of a shortened or canceled football season. Yet, even with a shortened or canceled football season, institutions remain confident they will not have to eliminate or suspend varsity sports programs.
For more information about survey results, please contact Sophie Kot (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About Teamworks: Teamworks is the leading athlete engagement platform, empowering more than 3,000 clients around the world to better connect and collaborate by simplifying their internal processes. Based in Durham, North Carolina, and founded in 2004, Teamworks continues to invest heavily in technology and expand the team to respond to the increasing customer demand. Organizations that depend on Teamworks to create a culture of communication and accountability include more than 2,000 NCAA Division I programs including every Autonomous Conference institution; professional teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS and EPL; collegiate and professional conferences; and national governing bodies. Visit www.teamworks.com for more information.