Report: NCAA Board of Governors to Discuss Canceling Fall Championships

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2020

FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is displayed at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball tournament. The NCAA is opening a door for states with legalized sports gambling to host NCAA championship events. The governing body for college sports on Thursday, May 17, 2018, announced a
Associated Press

The NCAA's board of governors reportedly will discuss on Tuesday the possibility of either canceling the fall championships amid the COVID-19 pandemic, pushing them back into the spring or holding them in the fall but limiting the venues and the teams participating, according to Bryan Fischer of College Football Talk. 

Fischer added: "Whether a vote actually occurs remains to be seen (as we've seen this week from presidents in Power Five leagues!). But NCAA events this fall being done as normal is pretty much off the table." 

A number of conferences have already pushed back the start of their seasons, as Stewart Mandel of The Athletic tweeted Thursday:

Stewart Mandel @slmandel

Updated list: Big 12: Aug. 29 Big Ten: Reportedly Sept. 5 ACC: Week of Sept. 7 Pac-12: No earlier than Sept. 19 SEC: Sept. 26 Five Week 1s.

NCAA president Mark Emmert told Heather Dinich of ESPN on Tuesday that he was "very concerned" about fall sports and felt more comfortable with the possibility of a shortened season:

"We do get to see what happens when people return to campus. You get to learn a lot from what's going on with professional sports. We get to see how the testing protocols emerge and how that can be more effective, especially if we can get antigen testing going, for keeping track of the virus on campuses. The fact a delay could provide us with time to do all that could be very, very useful.

"Also, the move to a smaller number of games can be really helpful because you've got bigger breaks between games then, and you could provide flexibility around schedules. ... If you have to quarantine a team or a big chunk of a team, you've got time to do that and you've got time to adjust. ... I think having fewer contests and doing them over a delayed period of time could be very, very helpful."

The main focus when discussing fall sports is college football, given the huge popularity of the sport and the major money involved, especially for broadcasting entities. The SEC is moving toward canceling any non-conference games this year. Both the Pac-12 Big Ten have already formalized a conference-only schedule, while the ACC is moving toward allowing teams to play just one non-conference game. 

The college football season will inevitably have a different feel this year, if it happens at all, as the coronavirus continues to force both professional and amateur sporting leagues to make major adjustments. 


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