The NCAA called the fall championship events – an action Thursday that does not affect college big football – because not enough schools will compete in sports such as men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball during the semester. first.
NCAA President Mark Emmert made the announcement in a video posted on Twitter, but it has been clear that this was coming as conferences canceled the fall sports seasons due to the coronvirus pandemic.
“It does not mean that we should not and can not turn to winter and spring and say, ̵6;How can we create a legitimate championship for those students?’ “” Tha Emmert. “There are ways to do it. I’m absolutely sure we can understand that. If schools and conferences want to move forward … let ‘s do it.”
Emmert also said NCAA officials have begun work on unforeseen occasions for NCAA basketball tournaments, possibly moving dates and seeking to create bubbles in which teams can compete.
He said the NCAA would give priority to stage championships in winter and spring sports because they – including the lucrative men’s basketball tournament – were canceled when COVID-19 first arrived in the United States in March.
The transition of autumn sports to spring must pass to the Council of Division I, which consists of representatives of all 32 conferences, and be approved by the Board of Directors of DI.
Championship events in all sports can be modified by moving forward to deal with COVID-19, Emmert said. This is likely to involve fewer teams participating in fewer predetermined locations.
The spring calendar already features more sports than the fall, so even more cramming, including FCS football, will create logistical challenges.
“Will it be normal? Certainly not. We will play fall sports in the spring,” he said. “Will it create conflicts and other challenges?” Of course. But can it be done? Yes. “
Last week the NCAA Board of Governors said championship events in a sport would be canceled if less than 50% of teams competing in that sport played a regular season.
Divisions II and III almost immediately followed with the cancellation of their autumn championship. Division I – which consists of 357 schools – is kept going, but after conference after conference canceled their fall seasons, the point came.
Autumn sports also include field hockey, cross country and water polo. Schools at conferences that have not yet canceled the fall seasons may be able to try to do a regular season race over the next few months.
The highest level of Division I football, the Bowl Division, is not affected. Playoff College Football is run by conferences and six of these leagues are still heading towards a season, including the Southeast Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big 12.
Beyond those six conferences, the rest of Division I is largely closed. Whether they can pull off football or any other sport during the pandemic has yet to be determined.
Earlier in the day, the NCAA chief medical officer and his two advisers to infectious disease experts warned of the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 across the United States, remaining a major hurdle in overcoming college sports.
“I feel like the Titanic. “We’ve hit the iceberg, and we’re trying to decide what time the band should play,” said Dr. Carlos Del Rio, associate executive dean at Emory University.
Del Rio, a member of the NCAA COVID-19 advisory panel, introduced himself to the NCAA Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Brian Hainline, in a webinar hosted by the Infectious Diseases Association of America.
“We have to focus on what is important,” Del Rio said. “What is important now is that we need to control this virus. The distrust of sports this year, to control this virus, would be my No. 1 priority.”
The United States has had more than 5 million cases of COVID-19.
Earlier this week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 became the first Power Five conferences that decided not to play football, or any sport, this fall. Emmert called it a devastating blow.
College sports administrators and coaches have made case schools provide structured environments with frequent testing and strict protocols that make athletes safer than the general population.
“We had some positive tests when our student-athletes returned for the first time,” said Alabama athletics director Greg Byrne. “We’ve had a dramatic decline since they were taken under our umbrella and that’s good. Basically, we have our student-athlete umbrella. On a college campus where students are going to class, it’s hard to create a bubble. “
Hainline said about 1% -2% of college athletes who were tested by schools were positive for COVID-19.
Del Rio said conferences are coming to different decisions not because they have different information, but because they assess risk differently.
“Some conferences will say, we will move forward. It is a very narrow path, hopefully there will be no infections and if there are infections we will be able to detect them, and we will be able to t ‘we stop them and we will not have an explosion,’ said Del Rio. “But other conferences say, no. Our tolerance is for zero risk and therefore we will not have it. It is exactly the same data just by looking at it in different ways.”
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