CFP Committee Tells Mike Pence CFB Games Won't Resume Without Students on Campus

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 15, 2020

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby testifies during a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, on intercollegiate athlete compensation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/Associated Press

The College Football Playoff Management Committee delivered a clear message to Vice President Mike Pence about when this season might begin.  

Per CBS Sports' Dennis DoddBig 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told Pence on a conference call with the committee that no games will be played until students are allowed back on campus.

"Our players are students. If we're not in college, we're not having contests," Bowlsby said. "Our message was, we need to get universities and colleges back open, that we were education-based programs, and we weren't going to have sports until we had something closer to normal college going on."

The call between the CFP committee and Pence came after President Donald Trump told reporters he would consult with various leaders and commissioners from sports leagues about eventually reopening the country when the coronavirus pandemic is contained. 

While no decision has yet been made about the 2020 college football season, there has been ongoing speculation about what games may look like if they can be played. 

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith expressed doubt that empty-stadium games would be safe for student-athletes. 

"I have thought about that a little bit," Smith told reporters on a conference call last week. "I struggle with that concept because ... when I first heard that, I said, 'OK, that could work.' But then I figured that if we don't have fans in the stands, that means we've determined it's not safe for them in a gathering environment."

Colleges across the country have canceled in-person classes during the pandemic. 

The college football season is set to begin on Aug. 29 with seven games, including a scheduled matchup between Notre Dame and Navy in Ireland.