With COVID-19 cases on the rise and no apparent end or vaccine in sight, there is talk that the 2020 college football season could be delayed from this fall to spring 2021.
We’re getting down to the wire when it comes to planning for the 2020 college football season: records for positive COVID-19 tests are still being set across the country, and the college football season is set to start on Aug. 29. Though many expect that under best-case scenarios the college football season would be delayed, those in college football say a delay of the season to 2021 should be under discussion. The Ivy League is looking at such a move already, and the same discussions are taking place among Power 5 athletic directors, per the New York Post:
But some acknowledge college football in the fall is filled with unavoidable landmines.
“I don’t even see how it’s real,” one Power Five coach said. “You are going to have 100-plus people in the locker room in close proximity. There is no way around that. If they are saying you can’t do that, I don’t see how we can operate when we are going to be on planes and buses with large groups of people and in hotels with other people. There is no way you are going to isolate 100 players, let alone the staff and coaches, and then say, ‘We’ll get together on Saturday for a game.’
“In college football, they really don’t have a solution yet.”
One potential problem: the NCAA doesn’t have effective control of college football, with the College Football Playoff run separately from the NCAA. While the NCAA could mandate the cancelation of March Madness and spring sports, it can’t exert that level of control over the CFP, which is run by college presidents who, to be blunt, see football revenues as a key part of athletic-department budgets. Universities already took a kit when March Madness was canceled; pushing the season to 2021 allows those revenues to proceed for the upcoming school year.
It came as a surprise to many when universities announced in June that they were prepping for a fall semester with on-campus classes. Now it looks like that announcement may have been premature.
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