It’s a question I get all the time, and unfortunately I am as clueless as you.
Will college football start on time? Will there be a college football season at all?
Nobody call really predict what will happen with the upcoming college football season in the fall, but I do feel like we will have football at some point.
Pro sports are in a better spot to return than college athletics during this uncertain time. Pro sports leagues can ponder plans to isolate their athletes from the new coronavirus and have them play in unusual, even secluded places, college sports have no such option.
Pro sports leagues can get creative with solutions to save their multibillion-dollar businesses. College sports will take a slower road back.
“The most at-risk sport of starting up again, in my opinion, is collegiate athletics,” said A.J. Maestas, the CEO of Navigate Research, which consults with professional sports leagues and college conferences. “There is less of an incentive and less alignment with the ultimate mission of the entity they work at, live at. That fund them.”
The commissioners of the 10 Bowl Subdivision conferences made it clear to Vice President Mike Pence last week: There cannot be college sports played if campuses are not open. If university leaders do not deem it safe for students to return to classrooms and dorms, locker rooms and practice fields will also remain closed.
The future of the upcoming season is simply an unknown at this point. The coaches don’t know. The athletic directors don’t know. But you can bet they are making plans and back-up plans and contingency plans for the back-up plans.
I know it’s hard to think about 60,000 fans packed into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in five months. That means folks in close quarters at tailgates and wedged into the stadium. It also will likely require schools to be in session on campus, which is looking foreboding as numerous campuses around the country are switching to online learning for their summer schools.