WVU’s Lyons Believes Not Every College Football Team Will Play This Fall

5bce47f7a5c61.image

West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons believes the upcoming college football season may not include every program. (PHOTO COURTESY: Photo by BlueGoldNews.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

West Virginia University Director of Athletics Shane Lyons knows the upcoming college football season will look a bit different than it has in the past. He also thinks some programs will not be able to play this fall due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Friday evening, he shared some insight with college football fans – as well as all college sports followers, too – on the NCAA‘s Twitter handle during a brand new ‘Social Series.’ And this particular series – well, the show, to be exact – was all about college football.

“I do think that there’s going to be those situations where there’s not going to be a hundred percent participation,” said Lyons, who is the Chair of the Division I Football Oversight Committee.

Lyons’s point is valid – it is hard to see every institution open its doors to students, faculty, and staff, as well as field a football team in a few months, especially in mid-May – but he also highlighted another important wrinkle to the equations about delaying the start of the season if only some teams are ready to play. And it is certainly possible that only a handful or more of schools will be able to compete in late August or early September, which would make scheduling a bit tricky.

“Do we all wait until its one hundred percent or if eighty percent of the schools are ready to go, do we start the season? And I think that’s the discussion that the conference commissioners are going to have to have,” said Lyons.

“We’re not quite there yet, but (will the 2020 season be) conference only play, or (are) we still going to have the non-conference competitions and have a 12 week season? So, I think – I don’t have that crystal ball yet to look at it and say, ‘This is the way it’s going to be (because) I think it is very fluid.'”

Lyons – like many – knows there’s a lot of questions about the upcoming season, but the hope is those concerns and ideas will be answered over the next few weeks. He did state, that a decision about the season should be made either before July or “mid-July at the latest.”

NCAA’s Emmert Says No Fall Sports Without Students On Campus

cd610910-e87f-11e9-afbe-ce3a51e72174

NCAA President Mark Emmert said no games will be played this fall without students back on campus. (PHOTO COURTESY: Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan

The question of if and when will sports return continues to be on the mind of many these days, including those that follow college athletics.

Schools, both here in New England and around the country, are eager to welcome their students back to campus this fall, but will it happen remains an unknown. However, the NCAA‘s president Mark Emmert did provide some insight into what we should expect this fall if students were to not able to return to campus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“You can’t have college sports if you don’t have colleges open and having students on them,” Emmert said during last night’s ‘NCAA Social Series’ on Twitter.

The NCAA president would go onto add that “there’s anxiety as you’d expect because of the high level of uncertainty.”

Indeed, many are anxious for life to slowly return to some sense of normalcy, and sports would ease that tension, but only if it is done safely.

The NCAA unveiled its nine-step, three-phase plan for schools  – both big and small – last week that will help each institution return its student-athletes back on the playing field. But which schools will return to the playing field immediately remains an unknown. Emmert believes not every institution will be able to compete in late August or early September, which will most likely result in changes to current schedules.

“It strikes me that it’s very unlikely that we’ll reach a place sometime this summer where everybody feels equally confident and equally comfortable because this is so differentiated by geographies and urban density and a whole array of different demographic variables that the level of confidence is going to vary from campus to campus,” said Emmert.

Luckily, the fall sports season is a few months away, so schools and conferences do have time to prepare for what the upcoming college season could look like. But as Emmert reassured his listeners, the NCAA’s biggest priority remains the safety of its student-athletes, coaches, and team representatives.

“We’ve got to keep student-athletes and all students and their staffs, and the coaches, and everybody around them healthy and safe,” he said. “That’s got to be the number one priority.”

Emmert knows the 2020-21 school year will be a bit different, but he seems focused on making the best of the situation.