At a time when players would be on campus practicing with excitement building across the country for the college football season, there is now uncertainty. As universities remain shut down due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, things aren’t looking promising for college football in the fall.
According to ESPN’s Heather Dinich, the likelihood of college football being played in 2020 is increasingly unlikely. Even as major universities begin to introduce plans to open campuses back up in the fall, there is reportedly decreasing optimism for a full season across the NCAA.
Similar to the NFL, officials in some of the top college football conferences are discussing alternatives. Among the possibilities, eliminating all non-conference games and moving forward with a conference schedule that starts in October.
In April, the College Football Playoff Management Committee informed Vice President Mike Pence that schools would need to be open for football to return this year. Fortunately, we are getting closer to that happening with Texas A&M and Texas Tech joining the University of Oregon and the University of Oklahoma in announcing plans to bring students back in the fall.
The NCAA is at risk of losing billions in revenue if a season is postponed or played in empty stadiums. The hits will be even more crippling for hundreds of universities that depend on funding from football, given March Madness was canceled.
The uncertainty surrounding the college football season could lead to stars from top programs entering the NFL’s supplemental draft this summer. It would be another blow for an eventual college football season that will feel very different than anyone is used to. Of course, football fans will take whatever they can get as a source of entertainment during a difficult time.