Could USC’s student recommendations by death knell for college football season?

General view of USC college football helmet
May 1, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of Southern California Trojans football helmet and the Olympic torch at the peristyle end of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Coliseum operated by USC will serve as the temporary home of the Los Angeles Rams after NFL owners voted 30-2 to allow Rams owner Stan Kroenke (not pictured) to relocate the franchise from St. Louis for the 2016 season. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The state of California is currently among the COVID-19 epicenters around the world as the virus takes hold in major American cities.

This could have a major impact on the return of college sports this fall. One major college in the state added to this belief recently.

Could USC’s student recommendations by death knell for college football season?

The administration for the Pac-12 school sent a letter to its student body earlier this week, recommending that they take classes online and avoid housing themselves on or near campus.

“Given the continuing safety restrictions and limited densities permissible on campus, our undergraduate students primarily or exclusively will be taking their courses online in the fall term, and on-campus housing and activities will be limited,” the letter read. “While not what we hoped, we are now recommending all undergraduates take their courses online, and reconsider living on or close to campus this semester.”

The administration did leave open the possibility of low-density activities on campus. That could obviously include the Trojans’ football team. But for now, this is not great news as it relates to the 2020 college football season.

COVID-19 cases in California

This all comes with California seeing a major increase of virus cases since Governor Gavin Newsom went into Phase 3 of reopening the economy. There’s been a 52% increase in hospitalizations in the state over just the past two weeks. Meanwhile, the state has seen 4,800-plus new cases of the virus each day over the past week.

Newsom issued a directive earlier in the week closing indoor seating at restaurants and demanding that all bars cease operations in 19 counties. That obviously includes Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the virus in California.

Increase in COVID-19 cases puts into question 2020 college football season

We have not heard a whole lot about whether the season will start late next month amid the growing pandemic. Recent spikes in cases in the above-mentioned California as well as Texas and Florida adds a completely new layer to this.

Back in the spring, it was suggested that the season might not take place until early next year. At this point, that might be the likeliest scenario.

That’s especially true now that multiple powerhouse programs are dealing with outbreaks of the virus.