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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wednesday was the worst day in college sports since March 12, when the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down.

Driving the news: The Ivy League announced that it will cancel all fall sports and will not consider resuming sports until Jan. 1, 2021 — and Stanford is permanently cutting 11 of its 36 varsity sports to help offset a projected $70 million, pandemic-fueled deficit.

  • The Ivy League was the first to cancel spring sports, calling off its basketball tournaments on March 10. Now, it's the first D-I conference to cancel football.
  • The 11 programs ended at Stanford: men's and women's fencing, field hockey, lightweight rowing, men's rowing, co-ed and women's sailing, squash, synchronized swimming, men's volleyball and wrestling.

The big picture: While Power 5 conferences could ultimately follow the Ivy League's lead, multiple sources tell Axios that no decisions will be made until late July.

  • It's also worth noting that Power 5 schools and Ivy League schools are dealing with different numbers. The former generates significant football revenue through TV contracts and ticket sales, while the Ivy League does not.
  • The Ivy League generated roughly $30 million in football revenue in 2019, while the Big Ten generated $1 billion, per The Athletic's Scott Dochterman.

The bottom line: If the Ivy League sets the trend once again, we could be headed for a football-less fall, which would have terrible financial repercussions.

  • And if Stanford — the gold standard of Olympic sports for decades — is eliminating 11 programs, what might happen at other schools?

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 26, 2021 - Sports

The pandemic has cost the NCAA $600 million

Data: NCAA; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The pandemic fueled a roughly $600 million plunge in NCAA revenue this past fiscal year (Aug. 31, 2019–Aug. 31, 2020), according to financial statements.

By the numbers: In 2019, the NCAA generated $1.12 billion, mostly from media payments from its men's basketball tournament.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.