NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday that there will be no NCAA championships because there are not enough schools participating due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – a decision that affects 22 championships, including FCS football.
“The Board of Governors also created if you don’t have half the schools that play a sport, you can’t have a legitimate championship,” Emmert said in a video posted on the NCAA Twitter. “We can not do any championship sports in the NCAA Division – which is everything but FBS football going on in the autumn. Unfortunately, tragically, the complete stop will happen this autumn.”
The number of schools fell below 50% on Wednesday when the Big East announced that fall sports would not be played.
“I̵7;m not sure now that it affects what we’re doing in football as we continue to move forward,” said West Virginia Athletics Director Shane Lyons, chairman of the NCAA Football Oversight Committee. “Just because there is no championship at the end does not mean that the whole autumn has been ruined for those student-athletes.”
Lyons said some FCS schools still plan to play non-conference football games, but unlike FBS, where the national champion is determined through the Football Playoff College, FCS football will not have its NCAA-sponsored championship. When asked about the optics of that discrepancy, Lyons noted the Big 12 plan to test its athletes three times each week – on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
“It will always be the optics of this, but from our conference, when we went through this, we added some extra layers of testing, as part of our application,” he said. “And this would not only apply to football, this will apply to all of our fall sports. … Will we continue to compete in those other sports during the fall? I do not have that answer yet. As a conference we we did not discuss it. “
Emmert said fall sports should be back in the winter and spring and try to create a legitimate championship for all those students.
“My staff is working hard for it, and talking to a lot of commissioners – all of them, all 32 of them at DI, and there are ways to do that,” he said. “I’m absolutely sure we can understand that. If schools and conferences want to go ahead, and try to have it, and more than half of them want to do it – and that’s certainly the indicator now – then let’s do it.We can use the fall and keep the kids healthy, keep them engaged with their coaches and athletic departments.Focus on their academic success.Work with them and let them practice and stay ready to play, then let’s go compete at that time. “