NCAA Leaving It Up To Local Officials For Starting College Football
This is stating the obvious.
NCAA will not take a stand on when to start
This was to be expected from the NCAA. The organization itself doesn’t have much power, specifically with college football at the FBS level. However, telling all 130 college football teams when to start is hard enough.
COVID-19 has no timeline and doesn’t care. There are going to be parts of the country that are deemed safe to conduct college football and others that are not.
For example, Los Angeles County is adding three months to its shelter-in-place order which would go through the middle of August and make it extremely hard to have USC and UCLA play a game a few weeks later.
NCAA president Mark Emmert spoke about how they will not have a standard start date for sports.
“Normally, there’s an agreed-upon start date for every sport, every season,” Emmert told ESPN, “but under these circumstances, now that’s all been derailed by the pandemic. It won’t be the conferences that can do that, either. It will be the local and state health officials that say whether or not you can open and play football with fans.
“These are localized decisions,” Emmert added. “Local campuses have to decide: Are we opening up, and are we bringing students back to play sports? The NCAA doesn’t mandate that, nor should it. The schools themselves have to make those choices.”
He is right it will be up to local officials for when to start but it would also make sense if the NCAA were to come up with some guidelines so that each school and conference can do its best to have as much as a typical season as possible.
It has been said many times on this website, there will be places that are safer than others, and getting everyone to start the same week will be next to impossible. The games hopefully will be played and people will need to be understanding and know that schedules will change and likely not start on time.