As July came to an unceremonious close, the Tulane Green Wave finally saw the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic hit their program yet again in terms of scheduling (as many anticipated it soon would). The SEC announced on July 30 that it would go the route of the Big Ten and Pac-12, effectively doing away with all non-conference play in 2020. With the announcement, Tulane is now among many, many other FCS and G5 programs across the country that has now lost at least two games on their 2020 schedule.
The Green Wave was slated to play Mississippi State on September 26 in Starkville but now will not have that chance. The game was expected to net Tulane’s program $200,000, as is customary when a P5 school invites a G5 team into their building for an early-season contest. (Last year Tulane made nearly $2 million when they traveled to Auburn).
Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen was quick to point out that, “There is a financial penalty for that [contract] being broken,” and he is correct. These game contracts usually contain a clause known as a “force majeure” that requires the breaching party to compensate the non-breaching party for, at minimum, the amount the game was worth.
The Bulldogs’ contract with the Green Wave outlined a $1 million cancellation fee that Tulane will undoubtedly pursue going forward.
“Certainly, we’re interested in what Mississippi State’s desire is going forward,” said Dannen.
It is entirely possibly that the two teams will reach an agreement to reschedule the game for sometime down the road however, Tulane already has their non-conference opponents filled out up through 2026 (which includes a home date with Mississippi State three years from now). The Green Wave could also use that money sooner rather than later as it also saw its September 12 contest against Northwester be cancelled for the same reasons.
Unfortunately, Tulane is not the only school to be affected this fashion by the SEC’s announcement. Other programs including but not limited to Louisiana, Eastern Michigan, Nevada, UTSA, Georgia State, Kent State, ULM, Connecticut and New Mexico State will all take financial hits due to cancelled games.
As of now, the Green Wave is still expected to open their 2020 campaign against in-state FCS foe Southeastern Louisiana on September 3.