More College Pain

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    • Learfield IMG College is looking to get out guaranteed payments to colleges.

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Learfield IMG College is reportedly asking schools for 60-day delays on payments for their radio, marketing, and sponsorship rights deals. The requests also include restructuring deals to reduce or eliminate guaranteed rights fees.

Some schools have agreed to the changes, but others view it as a way for Learfield to get out of less-profitable deals. Learfield IMG College’s guaranteed payments range from $1 million for Group of Five schools and up to $15 million for Power 5 schools, of which it holds deals with 54 of 65 schools.

UCLA and Cal are in particularly sticky situations, as both schools have deals with Learfield IMG College and Under Armour, which is also working on getting out of deals. Cal has more than $80 million between the two contracts at stake, while UCLA has more than $180 million on the line.

While both schools would likely find replacements or reach settlements, the two athletic departments are already struggling financially, with UCLA reporting a 2019 deficit of $18.9 million and Cal reporting a $24.5 million deficit.