No Students Mean No Sports
This makes too much sense.
NCAA must get on the same page
There seems to be no real consensus when or how the NCAA will return. There have been options like playing just conference games, a reduced schedule, split season or something completely different.
The NCAA has finally stepped forward with their idea and it is so simple and logical: no students equal no sports.
“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,” NCAA president Mark 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.”
This makes sense on so many levels because if a school is not open at all then how can the athletes be allowed on campus to participate in their respective sports. This will definitely be a state-by-state basis which is why it is hard to say when fall sports can start, specifically college football.
Tracking what schools will have in-person classes, to a degree, are about 74 percent per The Chronicle of Higher Education which is tracking what universities are doing. Tough choices will need to be made and it will impact a lot of conferences in the NCAA.
California is different than Colorado and then there are non-conference games across the country to consider their states, and one of the latest is Oregon which plans on severely restricting how large crowds can gather.
What If A School Is Online Only?
Then there are others who are interpreting what it means to be back in school and one of those is Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby who told WVMetroNews that online-only could count as a school being open for businesses and thus allow for fall sports to begin.
“School has to be in session because football players on college teams are student-athletes,” Bowlsby said. “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.”
Bowlsby is being a bit ambitious and thinking that going to classes only online institutes a school as open. If people aren’t allowed on campus then by definition it is not really open. This is an idea to push through football because it is the money maker.
Staggered Start Time?
Emmert was joined by Dr. Brian Hainline in the video the NCAA posted last Friday and the two agreed that it will be extremely difficult for the college football season to start on time.
“We aren’t going to have one national time when everyone can start preseason, so there’s going to be a little bit of inequity there,” Hainline said. “The most important thing is what’s going to be the minimum amount of time necessary that you have to be in preseason, for example, before you can start football.”
Emmert went on to say that conference are working toward moving forward together with its member schools.
“I think it’s unlikely everybody is going to be in the same place at the same time, and that will create some of those difficulties,” he said.
There does need to at the very least an equal number of weeks to prep for a season and this likely means that if a full season of 12 games and bowl season is to be completed it will go into the spring semester.
Keeping an equal playing field, as much as possible, is key to make sure is key for competitiveness.
Appearing on Jacksonville radio station 1010 XL last week, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said that unlike professional leagues, “There is room for different conferences to make different decisions. If there’s a couple of programs that aren’t able, does that stop everyone? I’m not sure it does,” he said. “But the ability for us to stay connected will remain important.”
This is in between as Sankey may feel that if half of his league can start and either play games against others in the SEC or non-conference games in good to go states would mean they can start while other states wait.
This is a tough call but one that also could be made to bring football to the masses, even if staggered.
However, it comes back to what Emmert says and that for sports to be played schools need to be open with some in-person teaching going on. There are still a few months away to look into this but at least a plan is forming.