The South Carolina athletic department says it will end its academic year with a $27 million deficit due to fewer people at football games last season and the increased costs of testing and quarantining athletes and staff members due to COVID-19.
The department announced Friday that the university will assume paying for the lost revenue cost until athletics can return to self-supporting status in 2022-23. South Carolina had about 20,000 people at football games last fall because of the coronavirus.
Athletics will begin paying back the university in 2024-25. The department projected another shortfall for 2021-22 as it slowly returns to pre-pandemic status.
The athletic department was helped by a supplement of $23 million from the SEC.
South Carolina has plans for full capacity of 77,559 at Williams-Brice Stadium for football games this fall.