Sports fans might learn the fate of college football season today since the NCAA is supposed to have updates on fall sports activity before the end of the day. ESPN reports that, on Tuesday, the NCAA Board of governors decided to delay any top decisions concerning its Division I fall games as it, like all other sports organizations, faces the COVID-19 pandemic. The board is trying to come up with an update, according to a statement posted on Twitter from NCAA president Mark Emmert.
NCAA Football Season Updates
The board is mostly comprised of university presidents who represent all three divisions. As a matter of fact, these people have the authority to shut down or put off NCAA fall sports like soccer, women’s volleyball, and FCS football. This is a decision the board has been analyzing for several weeks already but has lately engaged in more discussions. It seems that making a final decision is not that easy for the board members – the reasons why can be left open to interpretation.
Emmert plays an important role in the NCAA football season decision-making process and in his latest update said, “The board of governors and I today continued our discussion about the NCAA’s ability to proceed with our 22 fall championships in light of the COVID-19 trend lines.” He added, “In order to ensure the health and well-being of college athletes, we have to consider all the implications when determining our next steps, and we plan to provide an update to our membership and the public tomorrow.”
Seasons May Move Forward Without Some Championships
The members of the Football Oversight Committee believe that the NCAA’s board should wait longer to come up with major decisions concerning the fall leagues because it could deeply impact all sports, even college football, which is at the top level. Decision-makers mention that a potential cancellation of NCAA fall sports leagues doesn’t affect the College Football Playoff or the FBS college football season, which are two of the most important leagues.
Emmert had a conversation with ESPN, and he let them know he was still positive about the November championships being played, but in case they were canceled, it doesn’t mean the regular season couldn’t be a reality. He explained, “They could play for a conference championship if they could make it safe. The determination of our championships would be about whether or not we could bring together large groups of students in these kinds of environments and do it safely. That’s the decision point.”
On the other hand, Emmert contrasts the challenges of playing individual sports versus team sports, “An individual contest — a football game, a basketball game — that’s quite different. In the case of a bowl game or the CFP, you’re talking about a championship game. Can you create a bubble with enough lead time to have two teams play each other safely? The answer to that maybe yes. The FCS is a round-robin championship with 20 teams participating and a full-on championship event.
NCAA Bubbles In The Works?
The NCAA fall championships usually include games that take place on campuses; however, the organization decided to use specific sites this year in order to control the environment and have something similar to a bubble as what was seen with the NBA. This way, coronavirus infections are avoided, and players’ health is protected.
Emmert’s update concluded that it was important to set up the logistics ahead of any NCAA football season, so the organization is not a problem. He asserted, “Right now, we haven’t identified those sites. We have to identify them, choose the facilities, places to stay, and that needs to begin fairly soon. We’ve got a matter of weeks, but not beyond that, within which we can make those determinations.” Emmert also stated that, as students come back to campus, they want to know if they are going to play in the championships. Perhaps that answer will be given today.