While none of the Power Five college football leagues have committed to pushing back the season amid COVID-19, there is growing pessimism that we will have a season as we know it this fall. There have been multiple options floated for the coming year.
Some lower level leagues have already started cancelling college football games and other sports. The Ivy League is expected to announce today that it will move the entire football season to the spring. Some, including Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, say that this idea may be the safest way to try and have the season, and that it is very “doable.”
That is still being called the “last resort,” according to an unnamed conference commissioner in a new report by 247Sports. “I don’t think people understand how that simply doesn’t affect us,” an administrator cited in the story says. Still, their hands may be forced.
“With the policies and guidelines we have in place now, I don’t know how we could play,” an unnamed FBS head football coach told 247. “We have very few kids who are symptomatic but the contact tracing and asymptomatic quarantining guidelines would kill us during the season. And I still worry about the kids who are missing training now in order to prepare their bodies for practice and the games.”
Ivy League expected to announce today its moving football season to spring. However, sources told @Stadium don’t expect FBS to automatically make same decision. Source: “Doubt Ivies have much influence (w/FBS schools). They aren’t as vulnerable financially."
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 8, 2020
This is consistent with how things in the country have been over the last few weeks. In late June, Yahoo‘s Pete Thamel spoke to 20 college football higher-ups who admitted that there will be serious difficulties until there is a vaccine or other treatment proven to be extremely effective against the virus.
Much of the uncertainty comes from our lack of ability to project what will happen over the next few weeks, before college football teams are set to start practice back up in August. If cases continue to rise, or spike after last weekend’s Fourth of July celebrations, it could further imperil the season.
Hopefully that isn’t the case, and we can proceed this fall. Right now, it looks increasingly like the Ivy League may wind up setting the trend, like it did when it canceled the remainder of its basketball tournament in March. Days later, the rest of the NCAA followed suit.