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Will Ivy League's fall sports decision affect college football?

Will Ivy League's fall sports decision affect college football?

As the days of summer continue to be checked off the calendar, college football finds itself facing a diminishing amount of days left to finalize its plans for seeing football on college campuses this fall, if at all. One conference might be ready to make the call, at least according to some of their coaches.
 
The Ivy League has announced its final decision regarding fall sports, college football most notably, will come sometime this week. According to The Athletic, multiple coaches have stated "that they expect Wednesday's announcement to be that the league is moving all fall sports, including football, to spring 2021."


 
Could college football be headed for a new home on our calendars? How would that happen and who would ultimately make that decision? 
 
The decision for the Ivy League to move fall sports to the spring would be the first declaration from a Division 1 conference of its kind and could set the tone for the other FBS schools. The Ivy League was the first to cancel its basketball conference tournament back on March 12, under scrutiny at the time, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was soon to be followed by the other conferences once the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak was universally understood.
 
Harvard has already announced it will allow only 40% of undergraduates on campus in the fall, and all teaching is set to be conducted remotely. 
 
Moving all college football to spring 2021 is one of many scenarios being examined by athletic directors, school presidents and conference commissioners. Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour has called spring football a "last resort," citing the proximity to the 2021 season. The realities of the varying concerns surrounding playing, including scheduling, are legitimate. 

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Multiple programs including Kansas, Kansas State and Houston, have already been forced to suspend voluntary workout because of COVID-19 spikes among athletes. Those cases combined with a recent spike in COVID-19 cases continues to cast a shadow over the likelihood of college football being played as normal this fall.
 
The only thing that remains constant throughout this entire ordeal has been the ever-present fluidity of the world we inhabit. Those able to retain the flexibility and skill to adjust and react to new and pertinent information will be best suited to get us closer to seeing our fall traditions once again, even if it means seeing them in the spring. 

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Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Report: Big 12 planning to play football this fall

Despite growing momentum to cancel the fall football season, the Big 12 reportedly is moving forward with their plans to play.

ESPN reporter Sam Khan Jr. reported on Wednesday morning that the Big 12's board of directors met for over an hour yesterday to discuss the fallout of decisions made to postpone the fall season from conferences like the Big Ten and Pac-12. 

Following days of speculation the Big Ten would cancel fall sports, the conference officially pulled the plug Tuesday citing concerns of the myriad of complications that come along with playing a season during a pandemic. 

The Big 12, however, is leading the charge in trying to set up safe way to play the fall season. ESPN reported there will be revised conference-only schedules coming out shortly after the season was again pushed back to Sept. 26. Stadium reported the Big 12 may have more news. 

The decision also comes on the back of growing support from athletes to find a solution in making sure this season gets played. The face of college football, Trevor Lawrence, has repeatedly tweeted his stance that going forward with a season will actually be safer for the athletes

Whether or not more Power 5 sides like the SEC and ACC follow suit remains to be seen, but it is widely speculated that these football-crazed conferences are determined to find a way. 

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Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren says there was 'too much uncertainty' to have a fall season

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren says there was 'too much uncertainty' to have a fall season

Less than a week ago, the Big Ten Conference released a 2020 conference-only football schedule. Though there were no guarantees it would be played amid the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like a positive step for college athletics.

Fast forward to Tuesday, and the Big Ten announced that the fall sports season would be no more. What caused the quick departure? According to commissioner Kevin Warren, it wasn't additional facts about COVID-19 and its impact, but rather the lack of them.

“There’s too much uncertainty," Warren said on Tuesday during an interview on the Big Ten Network. "We have a lot of uncertainty going on now.”

The coronavirus has been in the United States for several months now, but much is still unknown about its effects on the human body and society. While the Big Ten had been working diligently to provide its players and staff with testing and up-to-date protocols, not every possible outcome could be covered.

As Warren explained it, for each question that is answered in relation to COVID-19, a new one pops up. As the pandemic continues on, professionals continue to learn more about how it acts and what impact it can have both short and long term.

An example of that would be Myocarditis –– or the inflammation of the heart muscle -- which has been found in several college athletes and linked to the coronavirus. Not initially considered to be a factor of the virus, it's now become a major concern for the Big Ten and other conferences.

That's just one aspect of the unknown Warren and others are dealing with. Taking a step back and looking at the whole picture, Warren also noted that the COVID-19 questions go beyond the field. It's a problem the entire world is dealing with.

“It’s not only in the Big Ten. I think just across the country and in the world there is so much uncertainty about this virus," Warren said.

In the end, while Warren feels the conference has done a solid job of protecting players during workouts in the summer, there was still too much to be learned before he and others could feel comfortable resuming collegiate sports.

Now, with hopes to resume in the spring, Warren and other Big Ten officials will head out in search of the answers that will eliminate the unknown of the virus. Just like how society strives to return to normal, continuing to learn will be the only way to make it possible.

“We’ll gather information, prepare, plan and create an environment that our students-athletes will be able to participate in when it’s safe and there’s less uncertainty," Warren said. 

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