CFP Director Bill Hancock Says 'We're Planning' on a Playoff Despite COVID-19

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2020

A group of footballs waits for warmups prior to an NCAA college football game between North Carolina State and the Ball State in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

College Football Playoff director Bill Hancock said the current plan is still to hold the event even though the coronavirus pandemic has left the upcoming season in jeopardy.

"We're planning on a CFP," he said, per Heather Dinich of ESPN. "That's what our staff is doing as we speak. Planning for it on time."

Hancock did note that any speculation would be just that at this point since the CFP is not until after a season that is still months away.

"It's only April," he said. "It's just too soon. It's premature. The decision about whether to have a season and a CFP won't be made by the coaches and commissioners. It will be made by the medical people. We have to be prepared, and we will be prepared, to have a CFP."

Hancock's comments come after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported people around college football hold "strong conviction" the 2020 season will happen, although the "uncertainty" lies in when it will happen. He noted there have been discussions about "multiple scenarios."

ESPN's Chris Fowler delved into some of those scenarios on an Instagram post he said was based on "informed speculation."

He said the scenario of the season happening as scheduled would mean having clarity on a timeline by the end of May regarding a return to college campuses for players and students. He also said a second scenario would be starting the season late and shortening it but noted a third scenario is "gaining momentum."

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That third one is starting the season around February and perhaps playing into May with a June postseason.

While that would be a drastic change from what college football fans are accustomed to seeing, it would allow athletic programs and schools that rely on the money the sport generates to recoup some of it without losing an entire season.

Unlike leagues such as the NBA, NHL and MLS that had already started their current seasons when the pandemic froze the sports world, there is still some time remaining for decisions regarding potential postponements or cancellations to be made when it comes to college football.

Whether the playoff happens as planned or perhaps in the summer, Hancock suggested they are still making the necessary plans to make sure it happens if possible.