Over the past week, we have seen a small handful of high-profile college football athletes announce that they would be sitting out the 2020 season. Some of them have already signed on with agencies as they begin the prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft.
In addition to certain players opting out, we have seen the University of Connecticut announced that the Huskies will not be playing football this Fall. Then the MAC conference followed in cancelling its season as a whole, the second to do so after the Ivy League cancelled much earlier.
What comes next? It could be big. The heads of the Power 5 conferences are meeting over the course of the next several days to figure out what to do—or in the estimates of some, how to do what they plan on doing in the public sphere.
According to Sports Illustrated, via Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger, multiple sources have told the outlet that the expected results of these high-level meetings will be how to resolve the postpone the fall athletics campaigns in these regions.
Needless to say, if the Power 5 schools end up cancelling the season, that could be a huge domino to fall, leading to many other schools and conferences around the country to do the same, as they look for creative solutions, with many eyeing a possible Spring season.
The Big Ten conference has already halted plans to ramp up training to practicing in full pads, which was part of a guideline put together months ago. Many see this as a prelude to an inevitability, an eventual announcement that athletics are being postponed.
In fact, the article suggests that it may be the Big Ten driving the car behind the scenes, trying to steer the rest of the Power 5 conferences into reaching a mutual plan for postponing. It seems that nobody wants to be the first to take that step—nor do they want to be the last.
One source ominously warned, “in the next 72 hours college football is going to come to a complete stop”. Through Wednesday at the latest, every one of the Power 5 schools is scheduled to hold a meeting during which they may vote on a resolution over whether or not to postpone the season.
This comes amid a minor wave of athletes, most notably Trevor Lawrence of Clemson, who are using social media to let it be known that the athletes are not the once driving this, and in fact they want to play. Of course, people who like to play football want to play football. But the universities will be liable for their health.
Hopefully, if the expected outcome of postponement does take place, we will still see a college football season early next year. As I’ve previously written about, some college sources had already reached out to the NFL about their openness to moving the 2021 NFL Draft if they play in the Spring. They were opposed to it then, but what if all the Power 5 schools are playing ball in April?