While everyone in and around college football wonders if and when the season will be able to begin, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby wants others to think beyond just the start of the season.
Bowlsby said on SiriusXM’s Big 12 Radio Thursday that he was more worried about the scheduled end of the college football season if the COVID-19 coronavirus surges back in the winter like some experts believe.
"I worry more about the end of the season and the postseason than I do the beginning parts of the season," Bowlsby said via ESPN. "If the virus comes roaring back in the traditional flu and virus season in November, December, through March, I wonder if we're going to get basketball seasons in, I wonder if we're going to get the [playoff] in, I wonder if we're going to get the NCAA tournament in."
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Washington Post in an interview that a resurgence of coronavirus during the 2020-21 flu season could possibly “actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through.” Those comments, as you likely remember, then became a flashpoint as President Donald Trump said that CDC director Robert Redfield had been misquoted as Redfield said at a press briefing that he was quoted accurately.
A majority of athletic directors polled in April said they believed the season will be delayed in some fashion. And, right now, there’s no real idea of if and when the season could begin. Numerous schools are saying they plan on having students back on campus for their fall semesters, but football players would need to be back on campus no later than the beginning of August for a season to begin on time.
If the 2020 season starts as scheduled it would end at the beginning of December. Bowl season would commence, as usual, in the days before Christmas and the College Football Playoff — a revenue boon for college football — will start on Jan. 1.
No tournaments again would be a worst-case scenario
There is no reason to spend time wondering about the feasibility of the 2021 NCAA basketball tournaments right now. There are way too many things that can happen in the 10 months between now and then. But if the coronavirus was to surge back and force the cancellation of the 2021 tournaments, well, the NCAA would be facing a financial mess for the second-straight season.
The governing body will pay out $375 million less than budgeted to its member schools because the 2020 tournaments were canceled. And that $225 million payout is because the NCAA had a baseline level of event cancellation insurance. Banking on cancellation insurance paying out for a second-straight year is a headache that college administrators are certain to desperately try to avoid.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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