The University of Oklahoma’s announcement in early April to suspend activities through July due to the COVID-19 pandemic signaled that the upcoming college football season could be at risk. On Friday, Oklahoma’s interim president provided a reason for hope that might show that college football will return this fall.
In a letter to the school’s community, Oklahoma’s president announced that the university intends to return to in-person classes and operations across all three of its campuses by the fall.
The return of students to campus across the country has always been viewed as the most crucial step before college football can return. In a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, the College Football Playoff Management Committee informed the White House that football wouldn’t be played until universities are open and students are back in class.
Oklahoma’s decision comes just after a recent poll showed an overwhelming majority of athletic directors believed the 2020 college football season would be played. However, there has been some concern in the NCAA that the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders would put the upcoming season in jeopardy or could lead to football being played in the spring of 2021.
Of course, missing an entire college football season would be a crippling financial blow for the NCAA and hundreds of colleges across the country after already taking an unprecedented economic hit after canceling March Madness due to the pandemic.
Given everything at stake, including hundreds of college sports teams potentially being cut in the worst-case scenario, everyone involved in college football will do what they can to bring it back as soon as possible under safe circumstances. University officials are taking the smart approach and Oklahoma’s plan is a great sign that we won’t miss out on a college football season.