NCAA outlines plans in response to Covid-19

Wyatt Dunn

COVID-19 has had an enormous effect on college sports. Men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments were already cancelled, and schools are now forced to adapt and improvise to the new normal as the virus has not slowed down.

With the fall football season approaching, many teams in the NCAA have decided not to play. Four Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences as a whole have stated they will not play this upcoming season: the Pac-12, the Big Ten, and two smaller conferences, Mountain West and the Mid-American Conference. In response to this, the NCAA Football Oversight Committee recommended an eight game spring season for teams that are not playing in the fall. As for the rest of the country, there is talk of changing the college football playoff from six teams to eight teams, and making it so every team qualifies for a bowl game. This would encourage college players to play this fall, because they are incentivized with playing in the postseason. 

The NCAA is hoping that the remaining large conferences will elect to play because they will lose a lot of potential money from TV deals and advertisements. In response to the pandemic, the NCAA has made multiple rule changes to adjust to the new normal. One example of this in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus was the implementation of a recruiting dead period to last at least through September. This rule prohibits in-person scouting, on-campus, off-campus, and evaluations. This could have a large impact on the recruiting process because it is uncommon for coaches to make a final decision on an athlete if they have not seen them in person. The NCAA is trying to find a balance between taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus while still maintaining revenue from popular mainstream college sports, particularly football.