Imagine that, inconsistency when it comes to something involving the NCAA.
in mid-April, the College Football Playoff Management Committee, which consists of the 10 FBS commissioners as well as Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, made it clear that if there are no students on campus there would be no sports. “Our players are students. If we’re not in college, we’re not having contests,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated at the time.
Friday, NCAA president Mark Emmert reiterated that stance.
“All of the commissioners and every president that I’ve talked to is in clear agreement: If you don’t have students on campus, you don’t have student-athletes on campus,” Emmert said during an interview on the official NCAA Twitter account. “That doesn’t mean [the school] has to be up and running in the full normal model, but you have to treat the health and well-being of the athletes at least as much as the regular students. … If a school doesn’t reopen, then they’re not going to be playing sports. It’s really that simple.”
The only problem with that? Bowlsby contradicted that stance — and his own stance of a month ago — in speaking to The Stadium‘s Brett McMurphy.
“Going to class in an online sense is satisfactory,” the commissioner said when discussing the return of college sports. “There’s room for that to happen. School has to be in session, student-athletes have to be going to class.”
Bowlsby further expounded on the online-only aspect as it relates to sports in an interview with WVMetroNews.
School has to be in session because football players on college teams are student-athletes. You have to be going to college. That doesn’t necessarily mean that if the new normal becomes online education, in part or in whole, that football players or volleyball players or soccer players couldn’t be taking classes online just like the rest of the students.
“I suspect some institutions may be a hundred percent online. And if they are, and if that is also what student-athletes are doing, I think that meets the criteria.
Even Swarbrick allowed earlier this month that Notre Dame football players could return to campus ahead of the rest of the student body if in-person classes for the fall are approved.
One area of consensus among all concerned is that, if college football is played this season, it will be much different. As in, you won’t see packed stadiums right away.
“Just because there’s some regulation that’s been lifted doesn’t mean that automatically means you should immediately put 105,000 fans in a football stadium,” Emmert said in his interview. “I think that the proper thing to do and the sensible thing to do is a phased approach. It’s plausible to me that early in the season, let’s just stick with football, you see a very limited fan access, but by later in the season, as things develop, hopefully in a very positive way, you all of sudden can see larger fan bases attending.”