With the sports world coming to a rapid halt over the last two weeks and so many significant sporting events being canceled, postponed or delayed, there’s some concern that the ongoing pandemic could disrupt the 2020 college football season.
The season isn’t scheduled to begin until late August, but with the recent news that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been postponed, the growing fear that football won’t be around in the fall is very real. And it’s not just among fans, according to Paul Finebaum.
Monday, Finebaum appeared on WJOX for a radio interview to talk about the possible effect coronavirus may have on the football season. The SEC Network host believes that there’s some concerns among athletic directors and college football decision-makers.
“I believe they’re very concerned, Jim, and I think there’s a hope that the season will get underway, I just don’t know in what shape or form,” Finebaum said. “And you’ve heard, as we’ve all heard, that the athletic directors, communicate with (SEC) commissioner (Greg) Sankey every day and I think they’re just, I’m sure they’re probably going over a list of possibilities — what if(s). And I thought Scott was about as buttoned-down as anyone we talked to date, because you know he is that type of organizer and facilitator and right now it just kind of like everything else, we don’t know.
The NCAA has already taken action on winter and spring sports, canceling championships and ending the spring sports season as it was just getting underway. While there are still five months until kickoff, there’s a very real possibility that the pandemic at least pushes the start of the season back a few weeks.
“Obviously the audience that we all talk to every day is probably most concerned. Yeah, I hate to lose basketball. But you know what’s interesting about college basketball is, you know, two weeks from tonight, would be the final game. I mean, it goes. Once you get it going, it’s like a freight train going downhill. Football is, you know, is April, it’s March and April, it’s July, it’s every month, really, under the sun.
“And I think that’s what, from a sports standpoint, I think that’s really what we’re focusing on. And I just think it’s impossible to tell.
“All these athletic departments are prepared for difficulty, but none of them are prepared for a shortening of the football season or a collapse of the football season. And I mean the trickle-down of that would be catastrophic.”
Recently, UCF Athletic Director Dana White told the Orlando Sentinel that the cancellation of the college football season would be “financially devastating” to college athletics, the conferences and the NCAA. Florida AD Scott Stricklin added that the loss of ticket sales, donations, television money and sponsorship would affect every sport on campuses across the country.
It’s difficult to project what will happen in five months, but there’s some real concern about the 2020 college football season.