Friday’s highly anticipated meeting between the NCAA Board of Governors ended without a bang.
As of now – today, Saturday, July 25, 2020, to be exact – it appears as if the fall sports championships are still going to happen, but perhaps that decision could change in a few weeks when the board reconvenes for its next meeting on Tuesday, August 4. The NCAA – as many remember – did cancel winter and spring championships in March when states began implementing stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Friday’s decision does provide hope for those seeking to see some college football games played this year. But as many know, many programs and campuses across the country have had to pause workouts due to an uptick in coronavirus cases.
NCAA President Mark Emmert released a statement to the media following yesterday’s meeting, acknowledging that the “health and well-being of college athletes is the highest priority in deciding whether to proceed with our 22 NCAA championships beginning in late November.”
Last month, Mark Emmert expressed concern about the upcoming college sports season on a podcast, but did note the 2020-21 school year is “going to be different.”
Doesn’t it seem strange that we’re starting a new baseball season in late July? Well, that is what happens when you’re living through a pandemic, but we are excited to cheer on our hometown Boston Red Sox.
Let’s kick off a brand new day with the Daily Noontime for Thursday, July 23, 2020 – have a great day, everyone!
Noontime’s Headlines for Thursday, July 23, 2020
For the Boston Red Sox to be successful and win a lot of games over the next few weeks, Mitch Moreland believes the team needs to take it “one day at a time.”
Speaking of Twitter, WBZ’s (Boston) Dan Roche excited local sports fans for what the next few days and weeks will look like for our local teams, including both the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics restarting their respective seasons later this month.
We conclude today’s Daily Noontime with yesterday’s biggest news item regarding Mookie Betts, who inked his name on a ‘megadeal‘ with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Too bad the Boston Red Sox couldn’t have kept him … (sigh!).
As we continue to inch closer toward a brand new college sports season, specifically college football, there seems to be some concern from NCAA President Mark Emmert regarding what various seasons will look like this fall during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a recent podcast appearance on The Comeback:COVID-19 and the Return of Sports from The Athletic, Emmert told host Seth Davis that the current situation is “very, very fluid,” and that whatever happens with fall sports will certainly be different than prior years.
As for what the upcoming football season looks like, including here in New England, Emmert told Davis that it won’t be what “we’re custom to seeing it year in and year out.”
Earlier this week, we learned Bowdoin College would not be playing football this fall – maybe this spring? – while Morehouse College announced today that its cross country nor football teams would not be competing for Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) championships this fall.
The Patriot League announced its plans for the upcoming fall sports season on Monday, which included guidelines for its seven members that play football. Teams will not be allowed to fly to away games while the league stated that “with rare exceptions, the regular-season competition will exclude overnight travel.”
Holy Cross, which captured the Patriot League crown last fall with a 24-0 victory over Georgetown University, shouldn’t have to fly too many games this fall as eight of its current contests, including three conference matchups, are scheduled to take place in either Massachusetts or Connecticut. However, the Crusaders’ season-opener against Merrimack College on Thursday, September 3 could be canceled due to the league not allowing its members to compete against non-conference foes until Friday, September 4.
As of today, we are 10 weeks away from the first official weekend of college football in New England as well as 69 days away from watching a slew of teams kick-off their respective campaigns on Thursday, September 3, including Bentley University, University of Connecticut and University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Will games begin on time or be pushed back to later in September? Could we see games moved to October, November, or even December? What about pushing back the season until next spring?
No matter what, Emmert knows the upcoming college sports season will look so much different than it has previously and may only feature conference or in-state contests along with a slew of regional games.
“Nobody can predict anything with certainty and so therefore you shouldn’t rule anything out,” said Emmert.
“I certainly think that sitting here today that there will be football in the fall. I think it will be different in many respects whether it’s the audiences in attendance or not in attendance, whether it’s the nature of the schedule, whether it’s the length of the season – you know, all of those things will be different and certainly the protocol and the way the games are played and the healthcare that surrounding that has got to be different.”
Speaking earlier today at a Senate hearing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hinted that it might not be wise for college campuses to welcome back its students for the fall semester.
Fauci was asked about college campuses reopening its doors to students by Senator Lamar Alexander and admitted he would feel a lot safer with a vaccine to protect the student body.
“If this were a situation where we had a vaccine, that would really be the end of that issue in a positive way,” said Fauci to Alexander.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if a vaccine will be available for college students, along with faculty and staff for the upcoming fall semester, but Fauci does hope that one of the eight vaccines that are currently being developed will be in “advanced trials by late fall or early winter.”
Last Friday, we received some insight from NCAA president Mark Emmert about what fans and followers of college athletics should expect for the upcoming fall sports season. And it doesn’t sound like business as usual due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
And just for those keeping track at home, I paraphrased “immediately” – he did not say that word!
The thought of seeing some teams compete in late August or early September is something I believe could happen. But which schools will be able to roll out the footballs and soccer balls at the end of the summer is a mystery.
Could we see the University of Alabama or the University of Texas at Austin compete right away or will both institutions have to delay the start of their respective fall sports season?
What about schools in California, Washington, or even Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island? Will they be able to play some games in late September or early October?
Could we see schools reopen in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, but not in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island? And would those schools be able to play games?
Should we expect fans on campus every Saturday to cheer on the Syracuse University football team?
Will, there be supporters at future Penn State University field hockey or soccer games?
These questions – and of course, others – are just a few on my mind, but the other thought percolating in my head is about scheduling. Could we see current games eliminated and new contests scheduled? I think so.
As much as I would love to say all games that are currently scheduled will happen would be hard to justify. Sure, many would love to circle the date for some must-see, must-follow contests later this year, especially a few local rivalries such as Harvard University vs. Yale University in football.
Additionally, I do anticipate some conferences (and leagues) will have to play each other more than once – maybe twice or three times? – especially if only a handful of schools are open in late August and early September.
And how about this thought: could we see some Division II teams playing against Division III squads, especially in the northeast? It would be fascinating to see (and watch) Assumption College square-off against WPI, but I don’t think that would happen.
Luckily, it is only May and we do have some time before the 2020 college sports season begins. But I do expect some announcements to occur about the future of fall sports in the coming weeks.
It is great to hear – and learn – about various schools planning to reopen (or be open) this fall, but with so much uncertainty these days, it just seems unlikely that college sports will look the same as they did in previous years come September and October.
Here’s hoping – and yes, some positive thoughts and vibes – but no matter who plays, we look forward to providing our audience with some coverage remotely.