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.