The Latest: South Carolina ends academic year with deficit

FILE - In this July 29, 2020 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks during a COVID-19 briefing as state epidemiologist Linda Bell, left, looks on, in West Columbia, S.C. McMaster ended South Carolina’s ongoing pandemic-related state of emergency on Monday, June 7, 2021. The Republican said during a news conference that the coronavirus situation in the state had improved to the point that it was no longer necessary.

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The South Carolina athletic department said 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 staffers 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 only 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 Southeastern Conference.

South Carolina has plans for full capacity of 77,559 at Williams-Brice Stadium for football games this fall.

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