Time to face reality: ‘No one is playing college football in the fall’
“Right now, I don’t see a path in the current environment to how we play,” said a Power Five athletic director. “I’m confident we’ll get back to what we all think of as normal, but it may be a year before that happens.”
Here’s the cruel truth about how college football leaders approached football this fall: The entirety of their plan to return was based on hope. Hope that the COVID-19 would go away. Hope that college campuses wouldn’t be a petri dish for the virus. Hope that they could figure out a way to play a contact sport in a time of mandatory social distancing. Hope for a vaccine to keep players healthy and seats full.
A strategy of hope isn’t much of a strategy, and a half-dozen coaches and officials told Yahoo Sports this weekend that hope is being vanquished. It’s all over in the minds of many coaches and athletic directors, as the sport will keep pushing back to buy time until the inevitable happens.
“Ultimately, no one is playing football in the fall,” said a high-ranking college official. “It’s just a matter of how it unfolds. As soon one of the ‘autonomy five’ or Power Five conferences makes a decision, that’s going to end it.”
The spring option still has some support, but it’ll only be after every option to play in the fall is exhausted. Those options are dwindling by the day, as the strategy of hope that’s defined college football’s plan for the season is predictably falling apart. Hope is free, and college officials are getting what they paid for.
“The thing that’s starting to settle in for us,” said a high ranking official at a Power Five school. “We’ve been talking about this as a one-year problem. I’m not sure it’s a one-year problem anymore. To me, it’s more likely we’re in this situation the same time next year than we play college football in the fall.”