Pac 12 Conference logo on football field
Dec 6, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; General overall view of Pac-12 logo at midfield prior to the Pac-12 Conference championship game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When the NCAA lifted its moratorium on voluntary workouts and student-athletes started returning to campus in June, things looked promising for the college football season. Now with spikes in the coronavirus across the country, including top universities, hope for football seems to be dwindling.

Pac-12 commissioner: College football season “a lot more perilous thatn it was a few weeks ago”

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has expressed optimism about delivering college football in the fall for months. The conference was preparing in May for a normal season and Scott offered a timetable for the game’s return a few weeks later.

As schools started discussing plans to bring football players back to campus in June, Scott expressed even more confidence that fans wouldn’t miss out on college football this fall. Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worse.

“Unless we see a change in the trajectory of the spread of the virus and its impact pretty quickly, I think the situation’s a lot more perilous than it was a few weeks ago,”  Scott said, via the NCAA.

The situation has changed dramatically for the United States and the sports world. In May, many expected the number of COVID-19 cases would drop and things would slow down in the summer before a potential second wave hit late in the fall.

Instead, the country is seeking a massive spike in positive tests for the coronavirus. Florida, which has been shattering daily records for new cases, announced Saturday that it had more than 11,000 new positive COVID-19 tests and the Untied States set a new record with 55,000 cases on Thursday.

The spike has also been seen across college campuses, especially for college football programs. More than 100 football players have test positive for the coronavirus and the number continues to soar every few days. Given all of this is happening with only select student-athletes on campus, it raises immediate concerns for what will take place when more students return.

“I think what we’ve seen over the last few weeks gives us reason to be concerned that when campuses open up, there could be real spikes and pressures on the health care system,” Scott said. “From my perspective, that’s really the biggest risk to college sports in the fall.”

Pac-12 athletic directors reportedly went behind Scott’s back in May to discuss their own plans for college football. As part of that conversation, some schools admitted they would accept if other programs within their conference played football while others didn’t.

Given the COVID-19 pandemic is now getting worse at a moment when many expected it to slow down, things don’t look promising for college football.

COVID-19 cases among college football players

Since the NCAA lifted its moratorium on voluntary workouts and student-athletes returned to campus, there has been a massive spike in COVID-19 cases across campuses. 

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick