NCAA’s Struggle with Championships This Fall
The NCAA alongside president Mark Emmert released a statement saying fall sports won't have the opportunity to play for championships if more than half of participating schools opt out of the 2020 season as scheduled. Postponed schedules that play in the spring could still find a way to win a title.
"We cannot now, at this point, have fall NCAA championships," Emmert said in the video. "Sadly, tragically that's going to be the case this fall, full stop."
Luckily, with the Big 12's decision to play this fall, FBS football is still over the 50% mark to vie for a championship.
Whether or not anyone chooses to view this season's College Football Playoff Champion as illegitimate remains to be seen. It should be noted that no PAC-12 team has ever won that championship and not since Ohio State won the first one in 2014-15 has a Big 10 team. Neither conference has made it to the championship game since either. Still, it does raise the concern.
There hasn't been any word on how the College Football Playoff will be changed for 2020, if at all.
Still, FCS, DIV-II and DIV-III football as well as Cross Country, Soccer, Field Hockey and Water Polo will all end the fall season without championships.
The NCAA posted a synopses off need-to-know information regarding the statement:
Here's what you need to know on the morning of Friday, Aug. 14:
In an NCAA Social Series video with NCAA correspondent Andy Katz, NCAA President Mark Emmert said there won't be NCAA fall championships this year. That decision does not affect FBS football or the College Football Playoff.
Emmert said the NCAA will look to provide a championship for fall-sport athletes in the winter and spring if more than half of the schools compete in a season.
Emmert said the NCAA is open to exploring bubble-type environment for championships, saying, "If we need to do a bubble model and that's the only way we can do it, then we'll figure that out."
The College Football Playoff selection committee (FBS) announced that it is preparing for the 2020-21 season.
NCAA Vice President of Men's Basketball Dan Gavitt said that he remains "very confident that we're going to have a basketball season, albeit different and maybe altered as necessary by the virus."
"If we think about what's going on this fall, rather than thinking about it as a canceled or a lost fall, let's instead think of it as a pivot toward winter and spring," Emmert said of student-athletes facing yet another 2020 hurdle. "Let's use the fall to focus on the physical and mental health, the academic success of our student-athletes."
Without guarantee that COVID-19 will be eradicated by the winter or spring, the NCAA is still hopeful that those sports will be able to crown champions, as well as any that postpone.
"Men's and women's basketball, we've got to do what we need to do to support those athletes and those timelines," Emmert said. "We're talking of course with our media partners pretty constantly now about what flexibility they would have and we would have. We'd love nothing more than to hold the current dates constant and that may well be doable. The virus is going to be an important part of this conversation because we have to do it in a safe fashion."
The spring future of football conferences, especially those in FBS competition, that decided to postpone is still wholly left in the air.