Monday Morning Quarterback: Do you think there will be college football this year?
On Friday the NCAA released a three-phase plan for resuming college sports. The three phases are based on the federal guidelines for easing social distancing and other limitations imposed such as prohibiting large gatherings. The NCAA is taking the position that in order for college sports to be resumed, “resocialization of collegiate sports must be grounded in resocialization of college campuses.” In other words, there will no college football season until students are allowed back on campus.
Each of the phases is 14 days, each with its milestone requirements. None of the phases can happen until there is a 14-day downward trend of coronavirus cases in a school’s surrounding area and local hospitals are not overloaded. After that, the three 14-day phases can start.
Phase 1 is no gatherings of 10 or more, virtual meetings, etc. Phase 2 allows gatherings of up to 50 people assuming precautionary physical distancing and sanitization. Phase 3 allows schools to open gyms and other common areas assuming “appropriate sanitation protocols are implemented and unrestricted staffing can resume.” While not clear yet, it is assumed the option for games without spectators, even though students are on campus, is something that would be allowed by the NCAA.
Nick Saban says if teams can get some type of summer conditioning and training camp to happen, then he believes coaches could then get their teams ready for a season in one month of fall practice. Other options to buy more time that have been discussed are pushing the start of the season back to Oct. 1, or limiting the season to only conference play to reduce the number of games.
What do you think – will we see a college football season this year?