Big 12's Bob Bowlsby: Conference Needs to Be Operating by Mid-July to Play CFB

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby talks to the media after canceling the remaining NCAA college basketball games in the Big 12 Conference tournament due to concerns about the coronavirus Thursday, March 12, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. The biggest conferences in college sports all canceled their basketball tournaments because of the new coronavirus, seemingly putting the NCAA Tournament in doubt. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Tuesday he believes the league needs to be "up and running" by mid-July for the college football season to proceed on schedule, per Heather Dinich of ESPN.  

"If we're not, we're looking at probably having to delay the season a little bit, but it's too early to know if we're going to be able to make that or not," he said.

Bowlsby also said during an interview on SiriusXM Big 12 radio in late April that the Big 12 "will be very, very lucky" to start the 2020 college season on time and continue "without disruptions" (h/t Sam Khan Jr. of ESPN).

"If the virus comes roaring back in the traditional flu and virus season in November, December, through March, I wonder if we're going to get basketball seasons in, I wonder if we're going to get the [College Football Playoff] in, I wonder if we're going to get the NCAA tournament in," he added.

A week later, however, he expressed optimism that football could be played even at universities that chose to operate with remote learning only in the fall semester:

G. Allan Taylor @GAllanTaylor

Bowlsby says "crowds may be a little bit soft, especially early in the season" as some fans are reluctant to pack stadiums. But he lists numerous diseases "that are still around" and they haven't paralyzed society. https://t.co/fo3qzaqk08

John Kurtz @jlkurtz

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby tells us on @TheGameKMAN that he thinks there's a "reasonably good" chance that preparations for the college football season can start on time. July 15th is a key date in that regard. https://t.co/YpJXKrzGUN

With leagues like the NBA, NHL, MLS, Premier League, La Liga and Serie A currently on hiatus due to COVID-19, it remains in question whether the NFL or college football will be able to begin on time. The summer is an important time for the sport as training camps and preseason preparations begin. 

It's hard to imagine either the NFL or college football season starting without at least a month to prepare. Given the uncertainty of where the United States will be in its fight against the coronavirus come July and August, many team sports remain in limbo. Such is the case for the Big 12 and college football in general.