What needs to happen for college football to take place this fall? Matt Jones spent yesterday talking to people involved in making those decisions and detailed the three necessary steps towards kickoff on this morning’s Kentucky Sports Radio.
1. Gyms/fitness centers open — This has already happened in a number of states across the South and will happen in Kentucky on June 1.
2. The SEC allows players on campus this summer — Most schools in the SEC are planning to reopen campuses to students this fall, but the big sign that football season may begin on time is whether or not players are allowed on campus during the summer to train. Currently, the SEC has suspended team activities/meetings through May 31. There was a report earlier today that the league’s presidents and chancellors would vote on allowing players on campus in June next week, but that has since been backtracked, with a date for the vote still to be determined. [Update: A date!]
Another factor to keep in mind: if players are allowed on campus this summer to train, they will need to stay in the same dormitory/controlled area to minimize the potential spread of the virus. For the basketball team, which already has a separate living space at the Wildcat Coal Lodge, this is easy; however, accommodations will need to be made for other teams like football, women’s basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc. Good thing UK has a lot of dorms.
3. Power 5 conferences come up with plans to start the season — According to the people Matt spoke with, the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) would prefer to start football season at the same time. For that to happen, the governors and university presidents from each state and school in each conference will have to agree when the season will start, and, whether or not fans can be in the stands, most likely in a limited capacity (e.g., 10,000 fans in each stadium). Even if the stadium is 20% full, that’s revenue that each school will gladly take.
The wildcard in all of this? The PAC-12. Will other California schools like UCLA, Cal, USC, and Stanford follow Cal State’s decision to not allow students on campus this fall? Even if they don’t, if the PAC-12 decides they don’t want fans in the stands until January, the rest of the Power 5 could agree to do the same.
You can hear the entire conversation during the first part of hour one in today’s podcast: