Is college football season in jeopardy?

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If the NFL plays in 2020, it could be the only football happening at a high level.

North Carolina coach Mack Brown has wondered aloud regarding the possibility of college football being scrapped for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a fear of, ‘Would we have a season?’ ‘Would we have a partial season?’ ‘What does a partial season mean?'” Brown said, via CFT.

Brown’s comments reflect the rampant uncertainty that comes at a time when college athletics have shut down completely.

“The biggest problem is you’re not sure when it ends, and we can’t get those answers at this point,” Brown said.

The NFL could play games without fans, presumably testing all players before every week of action and letting only those who test negative play. Games without fans and testing of every member of every college football roster could be cost prohibitive, especially for less profitable programs.

Maybe one or more of the primary five conferences could pull it off for their programs, televising limited games every weekend and harvesting the cash that would go along with it. Or maybe the NCAA would simply shut it all down, giving the NFL the stage to itself for all of 2020.

That could prompt the NFL to expand its weekly schedule, adding Friday night (high-school football could be scrapped, also) and Saturday night games. While this would require Congress to revise the law that ties the league’s broadcast antitrust exemption to not broadcasting games on Friday or Saturday nights from early September through early December, the circumstances justify unusual action.

And the unusual outcome for 2020 could be limited college football or none at all, while the NFL (if it can find a way to play games) dominates.

9 responses to “Is college football season in jeopardy?

  1. We’re 4.5 months away from NFL and NCAA teams opening camps. Seems way too early to start talking about this. Lets revisit this in mid-June, if things look no better (or worse) then this is a conversation to have. But until then, lets trust our medical professionals, scientists, and good luck, to help things improve.

  2. Without the crowd, you’re still talking over 200 people to play and televise each game. Each team has 50 players, 20 coaches and another 20 assorted personnel on the sideline. Then add an officiating crew, stadium personnel and a television production team. Keep in mind that all of these people will be coming together from different parts of the country, and you can see how problematic even games without fans would be under social distancing guidelines.

  3. The NFL could play games without fans, presumably testing all players before every week of action and letting only those who test negative play.

    Vegas would love this… imagine being able to fix a game simply by infecting a star player

  4. We don’t know if colleges will be having fall semesters, so lets want and see how things are in June. No sense in speculating, we will find out in a few months.

  5. They cannot simply cancel 2020, the world cannot shut down for such a prolonged period of time. There is still 5-6 months before the start of the college football season. At this point, the situation is very fluid and no epidemiologist can give you a clear answer regarding how long this will persist. The governments on the state and federal level need to thread very carefully here, weighing the benefit/risk of such a prolonged shutdown. The economical and psychological impact of such a shut down can be worse than the actual risk of COVID-19.

  6. No college ball, and I would bet dollars against donuts that the only NFL games played this year will be on Madden.

    With the close contact, heavy breathing, sweating, even with no fans in the stands, players would all have to be tested before every game. Not likely…

  7. with remote classes now wouldn’t it funny if the players actually only had to work on their schooling.

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