If students don’t return to campus by late summer and early fall, college football won’t draw them there.
The College Football Playoff management committee revealed to United States vice president Mike Pence on Wednesday in a conference call their one certainty about how the 2020 college football season might proceed during the coronavirus pandemic: there won’t be any college sports if students haven’t returned to campus. Colleges and universities of all sizes closed their campuses last month, as COVID-19 spread nationwide, and the outbreak forced the cancellation of all major sporting events, such as the NCAA tournaments and spring athletics seasons.
“(We) made the point we were concerned and wanted to get back to having kids attending college and opening up our colleges and universities,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, per The Associated Press. “That until that happened we weren’t going to be having any sports.”
The 2020 college football season is scheduled to kick off Labor Day weekend, but federal and state governments, haven’t reached a consensus over when it will be safe to return to normalcy. American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco stressed the importance of a single, nationwide restart date to preserve the integrity of college football’s competition.
“We talked a little about whether there would be a national policy because, obviously, if governors have different policies you’re going to have some issues,” Aresco said. “If California isn’t allowing football and Ohio is that’s going to be issue for what is obviously a national enterprise.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and an advisor to U.S. president Donald Trump, discussed Wednesday in a Snapchat video with Peter Hamby conditions under which professional sports might resume safely this summer. Using Fauci’s scenarios as a guide, it’s reasonable to predict college football won’t look, feel or sound the same if it takes place at all later this year.
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