What I̵

7;m listening to: Dan Wolken details his conversations with university administrators and their fears about hosting a college soccer season during a pandemic. That’s one of the many reasons for its potential delay.


For nearly five months, college football has grappled with the way a traditional season is organized while acknowledging the degree of uncertainty over health and safety concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

If the tournament is officially canceled next season, the Big Ten could be the catalyst for every Power Five conference to come to the same conclusion: Despite doing its best to create a viable playing environment exam, college football is an unfortunate victim of COVID-19.

As we await the fate of the 2020 season, here’s what we know about the playing state in the Division Bowl:

ACC medical advisers believe college football can be played in the fall

Top medical advisor for the Atlantic Coast Conference said the coronavirus-related risks could be overcome enough to play college football this fall.

Dr. Cameron Wolfe, Duke Infectious Diseases specialist, who heads ACC’s medical advisory team, told Sports Business Daily: “We believe we can reduce it to a level that keeps people safe. . “Can we safely let the two teams meet on the field? I would say yes. Will it be difficult? It’s correct. Will it be expensive and difficult and a lot of work? Sure. But I believe you can reduce the risk enough of bringing COVID into a football field or into the gym at a level that is like living as a student on campus. “

ACC is scheduled to start the games on September 10 with plans to play 10 conference matches plus an additional no-conference match this season.

Texas A&M sporting director calls for data collection

Texas A&M sporting director Ross Bjork said the SEC continued to lecture on patience even as Big Ten officials considered canceling the season, a decision that would affect grand sports. learn.

“To me, our plays are exactly the same,” Bjork said in a Tuesday interview with American-Statesman. “Collect data, listen to medical experts, follow the guidelines given by the CDC or local health authorities. Let’s make a plan together ”.

Bjork noted how real excitement there was last Friday when the SEC announced its revision schedule.

“But then by the end of the week and the news cycle changed the way it did, no new data that we didn’t have on Friday afternoon could have changed the conversations over the weekend,” Bjork to speak. “Viruses are still the same.”

An alternative to conference games this fall?

Penn State manager James Franklin has opened the door to explore possibilities this fall even as the Big Ten cancels the season. Speaking Tuesday during ESPN’s morning show “Get UP!”, Frankin said he would “use every opportunity and choice out there” to play. This comment echoed what Nebraska manager Scott Frost said on Monday.

How the Big Ten’s programs will be free to conduct the game with other conferences when the federation itself closes is uncertain, especially if the federation hopes to play in the spring.

Power Five domino effect

The Big Ten has been prompting conversation about playing in COVID-19 since at least July, when the conference’s decision to remove the non-conference game was largely reflected by the rest of Power Five.

In that case, the Big Ten was quickly followed by Pac-12. Those two tournaments, for a long time, once again appear to have agreed on the ability to play even as a schedule has changed amid a pandemic.

It is difficult to assess the immediate impact of the Big Ten’s potential move on the entire Power Five. By scheduling the games to start in late September, the SEC can feel comfortable waiting deeper into August before announcing its plans. Similar to Big 12 and ACC.

Lack of Consolidation: The Big Ten coaches pushed for the postponement of the decision to highlight cracks

DO WRONG: College football leaders make their mark with the well-balanced season

ON PINK: The Big Ten presidents are coming to a close with college football

In a series of tweets, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said on Monday the conference “has been considering step by step since March.”

“We know the concern remains,” he said. “Can we play? I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying. We support, educate and take care of the athletes every day, and will continue to be … every day. . “

On Tuesday on The Dan Patrick Show, Sankey said it is unlikely that the SEC will play itself if the other four Power Five conferences decide there is no fall football.

“I don’t think that’s the right direction,” Sankey said. “Can’t we? Sure. There’s a difference between you being able to do something and whether you should be doing something in life.”

One thing is for sure: By leading the conversation once again, the Big Ten will force the rest of the Power Five to settle whether it is possible to justify the competition when at least one other tournament has decided. group game at least during winter. And if so, can three or even two tournaments be able to compete as standalone bodies without all the parts that come with a regular season?

Central America and Mountain West Conference announced their fall cancellations

Coach and player disappointment

There was a lot of disappointment among the coaches who felt stuck in a game awaiting due to an uncertain season. While training activities continued, the coaching staff could not give information to the players who had gone 5 months without any specific direction on the fate of the game.

“We know how things change and how it goes,” said Louisville coach Scott Satterfield. “We want to have something definitive, just for our spiritual benefit.”

Meanwhile, players feel frustrated that they have no say in the decision-making process. That led to some star players posting tweets on Sunday using hashtags #WeAreUnited and #WeWantToPlay.

“Football is a safe haven for so many people,” Clemson’s midfielder Trevor Lawrence posted on Twitter. “We are more susceptible to the virus in our everyday life than we do playing soccer.”

Lawrence also posted a statement calling for general safety protocols, ensuring eligibility and establishing a “College Football Players Association” with player representatives from each Power Five conference.

Spring soccer ability

The Big Ten – if it decides to close – will likely turn its attention to spring. In a vacuum environment, spring football will follow the same scheme as a traditional season and could end with College Football, although that format will need to re-map the post-season. and have the ability to change locations for the national semi-finals.

However, some questions have yet to be answered. For one, when will a spring start? When will it end? Can teams play games that are not related to the conference? What about the bowl game? And what will a spring make-up season mean for the traditional fall 2021 schedule?

What will the next fall look like

Playing two full seasons in a calendar year is highly unlikely given the inability to give the players plenty of time to rest and recover from the end of potential spring to early fall.

Should FBS shift to the spring schedule instead, both seasons will be cut off, with the conference-only spring matching a similar short fall. In either case, the solution for pruning games would eliminate conference-free play, which Power Five has established as a solution to provide scheduling flexibility without sacrificing any. any championship race.

Players choose not to participate

We’ve seen a number of famous college stars opt out of this season to get ready for the NFL, led by Penn State mentor Micah Parsons. While others have pledged to play in the fall, such as midfielders Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, the equation will change since the entire FBS moves the contest to spring.

There could be a conflict with the draft NFL, which will likely overlap with the final spring phase. An injury encountered in the springtime has an even stronger impact on a player’s draft due to the nearness of fall – for example, an injured prospective client may not be able to recover in September .

Even if the players entering the audition were able to get through spring in a healthy way, the prospect of immediately returning and joining the NFL training camp would be a physical challenge.

Upcoming changes upon recruitment

The entire schedule will need to be adjusted in response to the effects of the coronavirus, which profoundly changed the normal recruitment process during the 2021 cycle.

If football is to be held in the spring, the NCAA will have to decide whether to allow early entrants, who typically start classes in January, enter the season and remain eligible. suing for another four years or not. That is, in addition to deciding whether to move the second national signing date away from February and deeper into the spring, which could require changes to the 2022 cycle.

Schools are currently unable to hold admissions for official visits despite August 31st. That will likely be extended if the season ends.


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