Will college football be played in the fall? There is currently no definitive answer to that, although the range of opinions continues by the day. But we could very well be coming up on an important deadline to give us some sense of the likelihood college football is played this fall.
The middle of May could be the pivotal point on the calendar to offer a glimpse into college football’s future. According to Steve Berkowitz of USA Today, South Carolina president Bob Caselen ha informed board of trustees members he hopes the school can make a decision for the fall semester around May 15, and no later than June 15. While that decision doesn’t directly note college football, it stands to reason that college football will only be played if the campus is open.
University of South Carolina president Bob Caslen tells board of trustees committee that he is hoping school will be able to make decisions about operations for fall semester on or about May 15, but no later than June 15.
— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) April 15, 2020
Caslen is not alone in this line of thinking with regard to making some decisions about the fall. Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic says other athletic directors and conference commissioners are hoping to see some decisions made around the same time period.
A lot of ADs/commissioners I've talked to have been targeting the end of May for decisions about college football this fall. https://t.co/xsYtm7S2sL
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) April 15, 2020
And as our own Bryan Fischer commented, universities around the country will begin to have a stronger feel for what the fall semesters are going to look like once the admissions process gets underway in the middle of May.
Yep. College admissions roll in early May, so the universities will have a better handle on what fall is going to potentially look like mid-May. Then athletics moves forward after that. https://t.co/HFXEK2HZIu
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) April 15, 2020
Earlier today, Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick told Mike Tirico of NBC Sports he could not see college football being played in empty stadiums. This was in reaction to noted health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested professional sports could resume later this summer as long as “nobody comes to the stadium.”
Also today, members of the College Football Playoff spoke to Vice President Mike Pence. During their call, it was stressed to the VP that college football simply will not return until campuses are open.
Many thanks to VP @Mike_Pence for taking the time to talk to the commissioners today about college football and protecting the health of our students. We hope to begin this fall right on time. The VP understands how important it is to return when it’s safe. Thank you! #CFBPlayoff
— College Football Playoff (@CFBPlayoff) April 15, 2020
Swarbrick would clarify that point of emphasis by stating all campuses must be open, and not just some.
One note Swarbrick offered re: college football's likelihood, a thought that had begun to creep into my wonderings, is that "all" campuses must be back open, not only some.
It would be an odd season if the Big Ten and Big 12 played, but the SEC did not, as an example.
— Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) April 15, 2020
So, where does this all leave us right now? For now, still wondering. There may not be any definitive answers regarding college football’s schedule for at least another month. The clock is ticking for those decisions to be made, of course. Not only do campuses need to be open to students, but football teams also need to get in shape for fall camps. If there are more and more delays, the idea of college football being played in the spring could become a more realistic scenario.