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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 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

The top 15 most-watched U.S. broadcasts of 2020

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The most important 30-day stretch of the year for the television industry begins this weekend on the gridiron.

Why it matters: The 14 most-watched U.S. TV broadcasts of 2021 could take place over the next month: 13 NFL playoff games (up from 11 due to expansion) and Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.