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.
- Kansas Jayhawks suspended workouts after 12 players test positive for COVID-19.
- Texas Tech reported 23 football players and staff tested positive
- The LSU Tigers quarantined 30 football players and more than a dozen contracted the virus.
- Clemson revealed last week that 37 players tested positive for the virus.
- Texas Longhorns announced 13 football players test positive for COVID-19
- The University of Colorado announced two of its players tested positive this week
- Six student-athletes at the University of Houston contracted the virus
- Two Kansas State football players worked out with teammates while they had the coronavirus