Possibility looms of fall 2020 and spring 2021 college football seasons

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The Big Ten is out. The Pac 12 is, too. That leaves three of the Power Five conferences in play for fall 2020.

And that could result in a split college football season, with some teams playing in the fall and others playing in the spring.

That’s surely not an ideal situation for the NFL, which seemingly would prefer to have all games played in the same chunk of weeks. If all were played in the fall, the draft could proceed without the possibility of selecting players who are still playing college football. If all were played in the spring, the NFL could move games from Sundays to Saturdays. A mixed bag complicates both possibilities, significantly.

As more major conferences move from fall to spring, it will become harder for others to stay in the fall. If, as it appears, liability concerns are fueling hesitation to proceed in the fall, the decision of major conferences to stand down can and will be used against schools that insist on trudging ahead, exposing schools to unlimited and unfunded liability that could take years to fully unfold, especially if even asymptomatic individuals eventually develop heart issues.

With each conferences that presses pause, it will become harder for the remaining conferences to not do the same. And it ultimately would make the prospect of all teams waiting until the spring more sensible.

39 responses to “Possibility looms of fall 2020 and spring 2021 college football seasons

  1. Anyone who still thinks there’s going to be college football played in the fall, and it won’t be an unmitigated disaster is fooling themselves.

    Covid-19 is the Captain now.

  2. How can the rest of the conferences play? What of the playoffs? It would be a joke. Just postpone the season until the spring.

  3. Wait until spring. College football doesn’t appear to have done enough preparation, as the NFL did, to start on time, and hasn’t coordinated anything, etc., etc., etc.

    Teams/conferences that want to play now should ask themselves where were they several months ago in planning for this? And have they talked with the school execs about where they stand on assuming a boatload of Covid liability risk?

  4. NOBODY is playing in the spring unless the virus is under control. If it is, both the NCAA and the NFL will no doubt want to return to fall football in 2021.
    I’ve been saying it for weeks and I’ll say it again:
    If the NCAA plays spring football and makes underclassmen play back-to-back spring-fall college seasons, or makes draft-eligible kids play even-longer back-to-back college-NFL seasons, it can never again utter the words “player safety” with a straight face.
    The very same goes for the NFL if it tries to play football in the spring and again in the fall of 2021.

  5. This won’t be an issue for the draft. The players that have been identified as good enough for the NFL will be drafted regardless of whether their school decides to play during fall, spring, or not at all.

  6. College football in the spring is going to cause serious problems for networks. Let’s not forget it’s college basketball season, with March Madness consuming all of Thursday-Sunday the first weekend, and most of those days the second. Plus conference tournaments the preceding weekend.

  7. I don’t get why this is being decided on a conference-by-conference basis.

    Any ambiguity and inconsistency (seemingly) could be addressed by the NCAA making blanket policy applicable to the entire sport as opposed to allowing each conference do what they want. Otherwise, NCAA’s approach seems tantamount to the patchwork “kick-it-down-a-level” strategy we’ve seen from the current federal administration that has been nonproductive at best or a failure at worst.

  8. Herm Edwards, Coach of Arizona State, was asked recently about playing in the Spring and then later in the fall of 2021. He said he would rest players in the off season between the two campaigns to minimize the wear and tear. I’m skeptical. Players will definitely need time off to heal their bodies.

  9. Football players are more safe (FACT) with the controls/policies surrounding the athletic programs than if they are at home, with their buddies, in a bar, etc. Get them into the program and let them play the games. If someone would wind up with a heart condition due to COVID, they’d wind up with one be contracting COVID away from the team and those controls. Play Football!!!

  10. Wonder how many quality NFL draft prospects who are eligible will come out now? Someone like Justin Fields would be wise to come out if Ohio State isn’t playing this year considering he’d probably go top 5 as of now if he did.

  11. elkmoundsucks says:
    August 11, 2020 at 4:19 pm
    Football players are more safe (FACT) with the controls/policies surrounding the athletic programs than if they are at home, with their buddies, in a bar, etc.

    *******************************************************************************

    If a kid’s staying home, doing what he’s supposed to be doing now (which is not going out to bars), I’d love to see these “FACTS” supporting the idea that he’d be safer playing football on campus. Regardless of the controls being used, I’m having an extremely hard time believing someone would be less likely to get Covid playing football at school.

    Re: bars, I’d also be willing to bet cash that kids on campus, student athletes or otherwise, are more likely to go to bars/parties than if they’re at home. Sounds like a great way to spread more Covid around in smaller communities where colleges and universities are located that might’ve been relatively spared so far.

  12. Just play a 10 game schedule in the spring. Yes, it’s a pain, and would be tough to put on. The virus may be too much of a problem then too. But the spring has advantages. There may be a vaccine. The flu season will be over. More treatment options will be available. Fans may actually be allowed at the games, and everyone wants that. We will better understand the virus in 6 months than we do now. That alone is a huge advantage.

  13. So stupid. What happens when the spring comes around and people are still scared because a small number of people are still getting sick? Life has risks. Live it.

  14. Stay safe!

    At lot of college football players join the NFL to early anyways. The NFL will deal with it. Maybe they’ll even draft more seniors who they do have tape on, and kick the tires on more UDFA’s.

    It’s inconvenient, not a disaster. Player safety is 100x more important.

  15. elkmoundsucks says:
    August 11, 2020 at 4:19 pm
    Football players are more safe (FACT) with the controls/policies surrounding the athletic programs than if they are at home, with their buddies, in a bar, etc.
    —————-

    If a kid is going to be irresponsible at home, he probably will be irresponsible everywhere else!

  16. No one is wrong in a situation like this. If they delay the season until the spring of 2021, what if the virus is still infecting millions of people, players are opting out, and there’s ultimately no endgame in sight? I mean, there is no vaccination for the other eighteen coronavirus strains right now. If they choose to play in the fall, this isn’t going to help, either, considering what is happening in the MLB right now.

  17. You notice the minute people are starting not to worry about Controllavirus, then this heart condition comes out. Election can’t get here soon enough.

    November 10th Covid will be over. Russia already has the vaccine anyways.

  18. Rich old men in power: Why won’t these young adults put themselves at further risk for no pay!?!?

  19. This won’t be an issue for the draft. The players that have been identified as good enough for the NFL will be drafted regardless of whether their school decides to play during fall, spring, or not at all.

    ——————————————————————————-

    That could very well be true for those players deemed 1st or 2nd round prospects. It’s the guys who would be picked in rounds 3-7 that could be hurt the most.

  20. Play a condensed informal season in the fall or skip the whole year. Dont do spring football. Also The Big 14 and the PAC are the 2 worst leagues.

  21. Lost in all of the above posts, many college athletes need the free tudor they get on campus. Small % need that structure and stability to be safe from gangs and violence.
    Will NCAA nail all these kids who slip in classes? They have signed their career death as an athlete and now as professional after college.
    Shame on you schools who used these kids. Never ever send your kid to a school who opted out.

  22. someone said that Russia has the vaccine… they are just screwing with Trump and the US. If anyone has a vaccine, it’s China. Bet on it.

  23. This is the beginning of the downfall of the NCAA. As it stands now, college sports is just a loose, unconnected, collection of individual conferences each operating in their own best interests while the NCAA just stands back and watches. They stand there with their 500 page, 12,000 rules of trivial compliance while their house is burning to the ground.

  24. Trump just tweeted that it would be a tragic mistake of college football wasn’t played in the fall. No no no. A tragic mistake is not taking this pandemic seriously and failing to lead this nation through the crisis, pawning off responsibility to states, not preparing to have proper equipment, outbidding states, mocking masks, and promoting unproven, dangerous drugs. This is why the US leads the world in infected and deaths by far and why we can’t have college and likely pro football this year. Zero leadership

  25. Pipe dreams. I was getting hammered a month ago on these very pages for saying to shut it down and I have never moved off that point. Many people don’t even know what a Pandemic is and they are screaming for everything to open up when the virus is owning us. Football NFL or NCAA is not that important. Baseball/Basketball/ Hockey. Who really cares? I mean really. Think about it. People are worried about having their players collect big bank and when reality they should worry about keeping them alive to even get drafted.
    Shut it all down and call it a day. Play on the side and science and data. And you are the ones teaching our children?

  26. How many amateur athletes have died because of this flu? 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

  27. thisismy5thaccount says:
    August 11, 2020 at 6:57 pm
    How many amateur athletes have died because of this flu?

    *******************************************************************************

    It’s any wonder you’re on account #5 when you post comments that actively spread disinformation.

  28. Guarantee that the athletes who play football this fall will have a lower rate of Covid-19 infection than those who do not play. This is typical short-sighted cancel culture, but who is surprised with the radical leftists running and teaching on college campuses today?

  29. “Kick it down a level management.” Then proceeding to blame fed government for everything. Ahhhh it’s almost as if you have no idea how the constitution is written and the importance of upholding constitution. Not surprising – coming from the same side of people that prefer to live in a welfare state. I bet you’re the type that blames capitalism for everything too.

  30. elkmoundsucks says:
    August 11, 2020 at 4:19 pm
    Football players are more safe (FACT) with the controls/policies surrounding the athletic programs than if they are at home, with their buddies, in a bar, etc.
    ———–
    I wouldn’t have been. My home life was fine and I would have been at least as safe at home as I would have been at college. Maybe instead of “FACT” you should have used “POSSIBLY”

  31. If the draft took place during a Spring College Football season, those players that are drafted would them opt out to avoid risk before signing they’re contracts

  32. BC is in Massachusetts. The Governor requires visitors from states with high (10%, I think) positivity rates to either quarantine for 14 days or to show proof of negative test. How will this work for teams playing at BC or when BC travels to those states? The ACC (or BC) is deluding themselves for thinking that they can still play this fall. Every state has its own rules governing this process. Good luck managing all the rules and the logistics.

  33. I know this will be an incredibly unpopular comment, but I think colleges should get out of big-time sports anyway. Maybe some Big 10 and Pac 12 schools will ultimately go that route.

    The point of college is to get an education, not to play a sport or to be entertained (which sports are). Many people think that FBS football and D1 basketball programs are money makers. But that is only true for the top programs in the country (e.g., Alabama football, Duke basketball, etc.). Most college sports programs drain money from their institutions.

    The NFL and NBA have essentially been getting a free minor league system. They need to start paying for one.

  34. I was never a big climate change advocate having a background in weather from the Navy. But I am now and its because here in Minny, we really have no Spring. Spring flowers come in late May now after the blizzards and sleet storms stop.
    No way you can ask mid west teams like Minnesota to play Spring ball when there is no place to practice outside while what, the ACC and SEC are romping on real green grass?
    Ya this is one not well thought our on the part of the Big Ten. Spring here is about mid to late May at best.

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