Report: Notre Dame AD suggests later start to college football season, limit on number of games
As conference commissioners and college athletic directors continue to wade through the waters of uncertainty as it relates to the college football season, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick is making his suggestion for the 2020 college football season.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich spoke with Swarbrick recently, who is suggesting a delayed start to the college football season, as well as a limit on the number of games played this year. He does not believe, at least at this time, a 12-game schedule is feasible with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t anticipate a 12-game schedule,” Swarbrick told ESPN. “I’d like to start a little later. The value of starting later is you really get to see how your university has done. You have the benefit of all of that information and knowledge, and so I’d like to start a little later. The number for me is probably somewhere between 8 and 10 [games], but whatever is right for the health and safety of the players.”
Limiting the number of games will likely be the case in at least a few conferences. The B1G and Pac-12 have already shifted to a league-only schedule, with rumors and speculation indicating that the B1G will institute a 10-game schedule for the 2020 season. Other conference could follow a similar path.
Right now, there’s been no clear start date set for the 2020 season. That’s one thing Swarbrick expects to see some clarity on in the coming days.
“I think there are a lot of moving parts to those decisions,” Swarbrick said. “One is when do we start the competitive season? That’s an important first question that has to be answered. It’s only after you decide when we’re comfortable starting, that sets your practice timeline, it sets how many games you can likely try and get into the season.
“And then you get into the details of the schedule, and try to create room for extra off weeks to manage issues that might arise. What’s your approach going to be? I think you’ll see the details of the schedules start to emerge, but it begins with saying, when are we going to start?”
Notre Dame is in a unique position with college football, particularly if all conferences shift to league-only schedule. As an independent program, the Fighting Irish would need some assistance from one or multiple conferences to have a season this fall.
Currently, the ACC, SEC and Big 12 are still preparing for a full season and have not eliminated nonconference contests yet.