South Carolina Gamecocks Will Muschamo
John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

College football fans across the country are desperate for a sign of hope that football will be played in the fall. While confidence remains high, especially for teams in the SEC, the University of South Carolina’s decision might have cast some doubt on the matter.

USC President Bob Caslen released a statement on Sunday informing the campus community that South Carolina will not hold in-person classes after Thanksgiving break. While the university still tentatively plans for students to return to campus in the fall, changes to the schedule indicate South Carolina will be operating very differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, the university’s decision indicates growing concern for a second wave of the coronavirus. Many medical experts are anticipating there could be another COVID-19 pandemic to hit late in the fall or during the winter. If schools across the country are forced to close again, it would be a significantr setback for college football.

The College Football Playoff Management Committee told Vice President Mike Pence in April that campuses needed to be open for college football to be played. Schools across the country are starting to making plans to open in the fall. However, some recent decisions have hinted at potential hurdles in the coming months.

Many schools are heavily dependent on the revenue generated from college football season. It’s why some athletic directors have even gone behind the back of conference commissioners to discuss plans for playing football. If hundreds of colleges couldn’t play football this year, programs would likely be forced to make the kinds of decision Bowling Green and the University of Akron have.

Unfortunately, as highlighted by infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, the coronavirus is the thing that will determine everything. Student-athletes could return to campus in July, or even sooner, and start preparing for the 2020 season. If a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits, it could all be for nothing.