No, Coach doesn’t want to believe it either, but the COVID-19 crisis continues and he, as well as the rest of the college football faithful, are left to wonder: What will happen with the 2020 season?

With colleges and universities around the country shutting down and sending students home, football programs cancelled their spring practices. The NCAA, of course, had cancelled all winter and spring sports championships.

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It’s been roughly six weeks since the coronavirus put the sports world on hold. How much longer will it continue and what will be the effect on college football?

Schools Out For Summer

Normally at this time of year, college baseball and lacrosse would be taking center stage right now. There would be plenty of spring football game action to watch as well.

With spring sports on what appears to be a permanent hiatus, schools around the nation are beginning to cancel all in-person instruction through July.

That means no summer school.

If most schools jump on that bandwagon, that means no students – athletes too – will be allowed on campus. Most FBS football programs have their athletes on campus for the summer training.

The best-case scenario would be that schools would allow students and athletes on campus in August when football camps do begin for the 130 FBS programs. If not, well…we’ve got problems.


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Athletic Director Survey

Some good news concerning the 2020 college football season came about as a result of a recent survey of FBS athletic directors. A full 99 percent believe that the upcoming season will be played in some form or fashion during the 2020-21 academic calendar.

Digging deeper into that survey though reveals that a majority of ADs believe the 2020 season will be delayed.

How long?

Who knows, but 61 percent of the athletic directors think the new season will not start until October or November. Another 14 percent believe college football games will be played in early 2021.

A High School Model?

The OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) is reportedly working on a contingency plan for the 2020-21 school year. In the plan, many of the traditional spring sports like baseball and softball would be played in the fall.

The plan moves football to the spring of 2021. Practices would begin in March and the season would run through May. High school state championship games would be scheduled in June.

Would the NCAA consider such a proposal? At this point, it’s an idea that is surely worth considering.

Starting Date Opinions Vary

There are numerous opinions on when, if ever, sports will resume.

President Trump spoke with all professional sports commissioners in early April and all appeared optimistic. At that point, it was believed that sporting events could resume with fans in attendance by football season.

The NBA and NHL would resume but likely without fans. In California, governor Gavin Newsom didn’t like what he heard. Newsom said he does not expect spectators to be at games even if they can resume play in the late summer.

The city of Los Angeles has already begun discussing mass gatherings such as sporting events and concerts and how they would resume. The city is thinking about cancelling all such events until 2021.

Betting Still Available

Regardless of what happens, bettors can still bet on favorite Clemson (+225) or Ohio State (+350) to win this coming season’s College Football Playoff. Last year’s champion LSU is an underdog at +850 and Alabama checks in at +450.

About the Author

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.

His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.

When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.

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