Will college football season be delayed or postponed due to the coronavirus?

Greg Sankey (COVID-19). (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Greg Sankey (COVID-19). (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

All sports are postponed or canceled indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic, but will college football be able to play a full season on time?

College basketball was canceled and the spring sports were also shut down before they could really get started before the coronavirus pandemic. College football spring games were also canceled as the rest of the sports world was put in a holding pattern to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

It’s still months away, but it’s not too soon to think if the college football season will be affected or if we’ll be able to see a full season when it does get underway.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey remains optimistic a full season of college football will be played this fall after holding a teleconference on Wednesday.

"“My hope is we can return to the normal organized activities, our normal experiences, and be part of that celebration around soccer, volleyball, cross-country and football in the fall, but we’ll have to see.”"

Sankey added all spring football practice is on hold until at least April 15 but he admits the window of opportunity is shrinking by the day.

This year, spring practice may be in May or June, followed by a few weeks off before the team regroups for the start of summer camp to get ready for the season ahead.

Logistically, this is all unprecedented for college football and for college football fans to navigate.

Basically, we’re all taking this one day at a time.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds. We really don’t know what next week or next month holds.

If spring practice is shut down entirely, the next decision will be to determine when the student-athletes would need to report to campus for their next on-field activities. It will present a host of new obstacles, hurdles and challenges for both the players and the coaches.

Again, this is unprecedented territory.

The MLB is looking at a mid-May potential date for Opening Day. The NBA is still exploring what to do with the rest of their schedule and if the playoffs will take place. Considering the NCAA canceled the NCAA Tournament, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the concerns surrounding the coronavirus linger into the summer, if the NCAA determines to postpone summer reporting dates for college football teams.

I’m wondering if spring practices are canceled in their entirety and there isn’t a period in late-April or May to make it work if we will see “summer games” to get teams prepared for the upcoming season. It would be a nice event for fans to come and pack the stands and get on campus to see their favorite players and team back on the field.

College football doesn’t have preseason games like the NFL or even a preseason that lasts as long as the NFL, but I think coaches and players will want to make sure they’re fully prepared and ready to go once the games begin. A week or three or practices to get ready for the season may not be enough otherwise and it could lead to some ugly games and injuries to begin the year.

College football is scheduled to begin on Saturday, Aug. 29 and hopefully, it remains that way. Today, we just don’t know if it will. These things can change quickly as the last week and a half has shown.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website or the website for your state’s Department of Health.

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