As we already know, some NCAA conferences have opted not to play this fall. For others, the games will begin, but we will have to see if they can finish the season. It is going to be a tricky road to navigate as this virus has shown us that it strikes fast and in abundance. This week, we have seen schools like UNC-Chapel Hill be forced to go back to online classes when an outbreak hit the school.
On Monday, NCAA president Mark Emmert announced that there will be no Division I fall championships in 2020, but that decision did not include the FBS schools. The “Iron Skillet” game between TCU and SMU is still going on as planned and will take place on September 12. The season opener for Cincinnati and Austin Peay has been moved back from Sept. 3, to Spet. 19.
The SWAC had already moved their football season to next spring and they announced their 2021 spring schedule. Each school will play six conference games and have an open non-conference game. The Championship Game will be played on May 1.
Also on Monday, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball, Dan Gavitt announced that the NCAA will give us a better idea if the season can start by sometime in mid-September. The season is scheduled to begin on Nov. 10, but they will keep an open mind and have a wait and see attitude with this virus.
That night, the SEC released it’s full 2020 football schedule. The conference is going to give it the ole college try and are playing a 10-game conference-only schedule. The SEC Championship Game is scheduled for Dec. 19 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Because this conference is the powerhouse of all conferences, they are going to do this differently. But let’s be honest with ourselves. This is all about the Benjamins and nothing more. The revenue that the SEC brings in is just too much of a factor but we will have to see if that blows up in their faces.
The SEC announced its health and safety guidelines and there are some notable adjustments. Fans will be required to wear a mask when they cannot social distance. The same goes for staff and stadium workers. The number of fans in the stands is still to be determined and will be based on local and state recommendations. CDC guidelines will also play a factor in these decisions.
The fact that fans will be allowed into the games is an argument all in itself. One of the things that the coronavirus has shown us is that it likes crowds. It thrives on gatherings of people and I am not sure that the greed for the money is worth taking this kind of chance. I say this because well all know what happens when people catch this virus and they go back to their communities.
One way or another, we are going to get the answers to all of our questions. I, like many college football fans, hope and pray that we will have games and that they can be played safely. If they cannot be played because of this virus, schools that have moved to spring play will have to start to wonder if they will be able to play when it is their turn.
One thing is for sure, we will all be on stand by to see what comes from these decisions.
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