The chances of college football being played this year becomes more bleak with each passing day.
The season has already been disrupted from Division I teams electing for conference-only schedules to Division II and III schools cancelling fall sports championships. The Big Sky Conference is rumored to cancel fall football and the MAC became the first conference to cancel the 2020 football season.
Every decision to this point has been a domino effect. And the collective decisions appear to be what will become the eventual demise of college football this year.
Power 5 conferences electing to go conference-only played a huge factor in the MAC’s decision, according to Brett McMurphy.
Huge news: Mid-American cancels fall football season because of COVID player health & safety concerns, sources told @Stadium. MAC took a huge financial hit when Power 5’s cut nonconference games & intends to try & play in spring, sources said #RIPMACtion https://t.co/V8F488nrF0— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 8, 2020
COVID-19 continues to spread widely throughout the United States, creating both health and financial complexities surrounding college sports.
Recently, student-athletes of Power 5 conferences have united with a list of demands out of health and safety concerns. In addition, the Pac-12 #WeAreUnited unity group have listed out revenue sharing demands to the tune of 50%, creating what appears to be an insurmountable impasse that may just streamline the college football season.
According to ESPN, emails between leaders from the Pac-12 #WeAreUnited unity group and conference commissioner Larry Scott “show a stark divide regarding how the parties felt Thursday's initial meeting went in regard to the student group's concerns about the conference's return-to-play policies related to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Here’s Larry Scott’s letter to the player group, which he sent Friday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/8kpTMbmVve— Kyle Bonagura (@BonaguraESPN) August 8, 2020
"We were all left disappointed and deeply concerned that you are not taking this matter seriously," read a letter to Scott signed by 18 student-athletes.
"We love the communities we compete for,” Oregon safety Jevon Holland said in the players’ letter. “But, we are afraid of the potential ramifications of athletes playing sports before it is adequately safe enough to do so. Our deepest fear is the Pac-12's negligent return to play may result in a member of our Pac-12 family dying due to COVID-19.'"
Another major point of contention surrounds regular conference-wide testing, which Larry Scott reportedly said was not possible.
In Scott's letter to the player group, he said questions about testing protocols would be addressed with the conference's medical advisory committee and he would provide answers "in the very near future."
A second meeting has not been scheduled and may never happen.
Presidents of the Big 10 Conference are reportedly meeting Saturday to discuss the future of fall sports.
The domino effect from COVID-19 health concerns that led to players’ demands that includes revenue sharing may be the biggest and unassailable hurdle of them all.
Pac-12 players say the conference's commissioner, Larry Scott, was condescending and dismissive of them during a call about the virus, and told them their #WeAreUnited post in @PlayersTribune was a "“misguided P.R. stunt.” @billywitz:https://t.co/SObcFmfZIB— Oskar Garcia (@oskargarcia) August 8, 2020