- Multiple reports suggest that the Power 5 conferences are meeting to discuss the fate of the fall 2020 season.
- The prospect of playing college football this fall is looking increasingly dim.
- The Mountain West Conference is the latest to ‘opt out’ of fall 2020 football.
There’s been a lot of downright bizarre goings on in the past 24 hours relative to the fate of the fall 2020 college football season. I’m not sure if the prospects for college football ‘in season’ are any better than they were this time yesterday but it has definitely become more entertaining with the Big Ten issuing a denial that they’ve decided on their course of action, Nebraska floating the idea of playing anyway even if the Big Ten doesn’t and the ACC insisting that they ‘absolutely’ plan to play football this fall. Trevor Lawrence and company’s #WEWANTTOPLAY hashtag campaign gained some high profile support as Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh made a case for fall college football that was almost identical to the one that the players laid out Sunday night. They then received some even higher profile support as the former owner of the USFL New Jersey Generals retweeted Trevor Lawrene and the #WEWANTTOPLAY graphic:
We’ll sort all of that out and update the story early AM tomorrow as there’s a good chance that there will be additional developments.
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE TO POSTPONE 2020 FALL SPORTS INCLUDING FOOTBALL
One week after releasing their scheduling plans for the fall 2020 college football season the Mountain West Conference has reversed course and will postpone all fall sports. That makes them the second FBS conference to ‘opt out’ of fall 2020 football following the Mid-American Conference (MAC). The postponement was described as ‘indefinite’ though the tentative plan is to play fall sports in spring 2021 if circumstances permit:
The Mountain West has announced the indefinite postponement of all scheduled fall sports contests and MW championship events in response to ongoing challenges with the effective mitigation and management of the COVID-19 virus in conjunction with athletic competition. The MW Board of Directors prioritized the physical and mental health and well-being of the Conference’s student-athletes and overall campus communities in its decision – as it has done throughout the course of the pandemic.
The Mountain West will begin to explore the feasibility of rescheduling fall sports competition, including the possibility of those sports competing in the spring, and develop options for consideration. Athletically-related activities and training opportunities for enrolled student-athletes will also be evaluated consistent with NCAA legislation and guidance, as well as state, local and campus parameters.
CBS Sports reported that the majority of Mountain West member school presidents wanted to play football but got cold feet after more positive tests started to appear. The more likely scenario is that they didn’t want any more scrutiny and potentially negative publicity for the conference since they’re already dealing with the grease fire at Colorado State.
Here’s how MWC commissioner Craig Thompson explained the decision:
“Since the start of the pandemic, our membership and staff have been working diligently to prepare for a fall sports season. We were hopeful we could carefully and responsibly conduct competition as originally scheduled with essential protocols in place. However, numerous external factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary. I fully understand the impact of this outcome on our student- athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who work so hard daily to play the sports we all love, and I share in their disappointment. We will continue to navigate this pandemic together, overcome the obstacles and return to intercollegiate athletics at the earliest opportunity.”
With the MWC and MAC both postponing fall sports and UConn and Old Dominion unilaterally deciding not to play there’s 26 FBS schools that have ‘opted out’.