Report: NCAA president 'very concerned' about fall sports
As fall sports at the college level continue to creep closer, the level of concern continues to rise for NCAA President Mark Emmert. In a recent interview with ESPN, the longtime president of the association still doesn’t feel completely comfortable with the idea of athletics happening.
Some sports and conferences are looking at delaying the start of the season — either by a few weeks or potentially pushing all sports until spring and then re-evaluating the situation in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. That plan, according to Emmert, is a logical step.
“We do get to see what happens when people return to campus,” Emmert told Heather Dinich of ESPN. “You get to learn a lot from what’s going on with professional sports. We get to see how the testing protocols emerge and how that can be more effective, especially if we can get antigen testing going, for keeping track of the virus on campuses. The fact a delay could provide us with time to do all that could be very, very useful.
“Also, the move to a smaller number of games can be really helpful because you’ve got bigger breaks between games then, and you could provide flexibility around schedules,” he said. ” … If you have to quarantine a team or a big chunk of a team, you’ve got time to do that and you’ve got time to adjust. … I think having fewer contests and doing them over a delayed period of time could be very, very helpful.”
A handful of conferences have already announced a delay in the start of the season for fall sports, or have decided to push to the spring and take their chances then. None of the major conferences at the FBS level have done that just yet.
Conferences like the B1G and Pac-12 have done away with nonconference games for the fall, and will likely have a delayed start to the season, though no official word has come from either league just yet.
While no final decisions on fall sports, including football, have been made at the FBS level just yet, something is going to have to be decided in the coming week.