ATLANTA (CBS46) – College football fans hoping for a full season know fall practices are just weeks away from starting. That puts an increasing amount of pressure on college football’s power brokers to decide on what kind of season may lie ahead in the year of COVID-19.
In the last two weeks, COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in Arizona, Florida, California, Texas, and Georgia among other states. With multiple top colleges in those states, it’s put a new focus on social distancing and wearing masks, two things that don’t exactly work with playing college football.
“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 lost more perilous than it was a few weeks ago,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott told CBSSports.com. “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’s words echoed those of Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey who said mid-July is when the large conferences will begin to weigh the possibilities of a college football season or not. Make no mistake though, the schools and conferences want a season just as much as the fans do. Billions of dollars are on the line for everyone, except the players, involved in the college football season.
Even Georgia Governor Brian Kemp weighed in this week saying that playing a college football season would be a tough sell if people didn’t start taking the rapidly spreading outbreak seriously.
“Well, if people, especially our young people don’t start wearing a mask when they go out in public and our numbers keep rising, that’s going to be a tall task,” Governor Kemp said Wednesday.
If college football is played this year, most of the sport’s power brokers believe it will be either in front of no fans or a highly restricted fan base to allow for social distancing and more. The NFL is blocking off the lower level for their games if they play this fall. College football and the NFL will also closely follow what happens to the NBA and MLB as they open play later this month.