It may come down to no football or no fans.
As a private institution, TCU isn’t subject to open records requests. But athletic director Jeremiah Donati acknowledged the importance of having a football season in some fashion. Even if fans aren’t allowed to attend games, which would be a major blow to university budgets, the TV revenue generated would help offset those losses.
“The first thing is to play the games,” Donati said. “That’s the top priority because of our television contract with the Big 12 is very lucrative.”
But a season without fans would be costly. Donati estimated the university generates roughly $25 million from “live gate,” which includes revenue from tickets to parking to donations to concession sales.
Texas Tech, meanwhile, generated $11 million from ticket sales in FY 2018, while Iowa State made $11.6 million and Kansas State brought in $12.6 million.
We haven’t mentioned Song much when it comes to the NFL, but he’s got a shot.
For Song, though, he believes he has the leg strength required for the next level. He thinks TCU felt more comfortable keeping him in short-yardage situations given his injury history. (A torn quad sidelined him for the 2016 season and he battled a groin injury in 2017.)
“I had a roller coaster ride at TCU in terms of what field-goal distance I could do,” said Song, whose highlight was booting a 27-yard field goal to defeat Cal, 10-7, in overtime of the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl.
“But I’ve been working incredibly hard on my leg strength and I’m 100% fully fit.”
It might not be his choice.
If healthy, Niang profiles as a prototype NFL right tackle. At 6-foot-7, 328 pounds, he is one of the draft’s largest prospects yet moves better than most offensive tackles his size. His ceiling is arguably higher than any tackle in this class.
But fair or not, several other options at the position are perceived to be safer picks. Niang finds himself in a battle of perception ahead of the draft, with little options other than to hope his game tape speaks for itself.
Two seasons without a single sack allowed should say plenty. But the more telling measure of Niang might be his mental toughness. After two years of playing through pain, no one can question that.
“I played as long as I could play,” Niang said. “I finished every play. I wasn’t just trying to survive.”
It seems every TCU Head Coach takes some kind of national leadership role!
“I’m honored to serve as NABC President during the upcoming year and stand ready to advocate for coaches throughout all levels of basketball,” said Dixon, the 2009 Naismith Coach of the Year. “With important topics such as transfer waivers, NIL and how the sport will be impacted by the coronavirus currently on the table, it’s a crucial time for the NABC to be a leading voice.”
Dixon just completed his fourth season at his alma mater and previously served 13 seasons as the head coach at Pittsburgh. This past season, the Horned Frogs defeated three ranked teams for the first time in program history, including a win over No. 2 Baylor, the highest ranked home win ever at TCU. Dixon’s 412 career wins are tied for the third-most of any head coach through 17 seasons.