Football in a pandemic? It’s happening and this past weekend those college football teams that decided to continue playing through the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off their season with games taking place on Thursday and Saturday. With more games to follow this week, they plan on hopefully completing the scheduled 15-week 2020 season.
That is, without a major coronavirus outbreak happening on any of their teams.
The start of the season already isn’t going so smoothly, with Southern Methodist University’s scheduled game against Texas Christian University on Sept. 11 being canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests.
Even with the major threat of the virus, players, fans and programs are still hopeful to have a full season.
Tanner Ingle, a student and defensive back/safety at North Carolina State University, whose football program is in the Atlantic Coast Conference, feels confident in playing this season and sees it going all the way through.
“I feel good about it since we are going out in the safest situation possible, I wouldn’t want football taken away from me because it’s a big part of who I am and what I do.” Ingle told The Famuan.
“I feel as if the season will actually finish through, these professional sports teams have found a way to do it and I don’t see why college football would be an issue.”
Schools and conferences that decided not to participate in the 2020 college football season are left sitting, hoping and planning for a spring season.
Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University is one of those schools. Their sports teams are members of The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The MEAC announced its plans for fall sports competitions to take place in spring 2021 based on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in early winter, according to a statement published on its website.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes continue to be our number one priority,” Wayne A. I. Frederick, Howard University’s president and chair of the MEAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors, said in the statement.
The statement also revealed that football teams will play a total of six regional conference games, with teams split into divisions and the spring season will go from February 27 through April 24, with a championship game set for May 1.
This leaves FAMU’s football team to compete in the Southern Division. It consists of FAMU, Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T State, North Carolina Central and South Carolina State.
Bryan Crawford, an offensive lineman at FAMU, believes that a spring season is going to happen.
“I feel like a spring season will happen,” he said. “Knowing that safety precautions are being enforced by our administration and coaches, they have us student-athletes’ safety as the main priority when it comes to making a decision on the spring season.”
Crawford is also a huge fan of the MEAC’s new plan for a spring 2021 football season.
“I love the new spring layout … knowing every game, makes or breaks your quest to a championship game gives off more of a playoff mindset.”
With COVID-19 cases still on the rise and the uncertain future of the 2020 college football season, it is unsure whether a spring season will happen. But with new safety protocols and specified COVID-19 planning, it is an idea that you can’t completely rule out just yet.