Appalachian State UNC Charlotte Football

The Appalachian State Marching Mountaineers play the Star Spangled Banner prior to a game against Charlotte last season at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone. The college football season could be shortened or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Appalachian State’s football program and athletics department apparently will lose out on a $1.25 million guarantee for playing at Wisconsin because of the Big Ten Conference’s decision to move to conference-only schedules for fall sports.

Appalachian State had been scheduled to go to Madison on Sept. 19. App State athletics department officials did not immediately comment.

The loss of App State-Wisconsin, scheduled in 2017, and the guarantee comes during a time when all of college athletics is bracing for a financial downfall brought on by the coronavirus. App State has spent the last few months trying to shave roughly 20 percent off of its typical $25 million budget. The athletics department has cut three sports — men’s indoor track and field, men’s tennis and men’s soccer — and has also required department workers to take furloughs.

The game was supposed to be one of two matchups with Power Five programs for App State this season. The other is against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem on Sept. 11.

The Big Ten’s move leaves App State with three non-conference games: the season opener on Sept. 5 against Morgan State, the game at Wake Forest and a Sept. 26 matchup with Massachusetts.

And the likelihood of rescheduling the game against Wisconsin in the near future is slim also. App State has full non-conference slates scheduled through the 2024 season.

Wisconsin running backs coach John Settle is an App State graduate, and is one of four players to have his number retired at App State.

Ethan Joyce is a staff writer for the Winston-Salem Journal.

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