Aug 10, 2020 - Sports

The college football season is on the brink

An illustration of a hand erasing Xs and Os on a chalkboard.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Power 5 commissioners held an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the growing concern that fall sports can't be played because of COVID-19.

Driving the news: The Mid-American Conference on Saturday became the first FBS league to postpone fall sports and move them to the spring, and there are rumblings that Power 5 conferences are ready to follow suit.

What they're saying: Athletic directors and industry sources do not sound hopeful about playing football this fall.

  • "In the next 72 hours, college football is going to come to a complete stop," one source told Sports Illustrated.
  • "I think it's inevitable [the season will not be played in the fall]," one Power 5 athletic director told CBS Sports.
  • "It feels like no one wants to [postpone the season], but it's reaching the point where someone is going to have to," one Power 5 administrator told ESPN.

The other side: Clemson star QB Trevor Lawrence is among several high-profile players who voiced their desire to play the fall season.

  • "Football is a safe haven for so many people," he tweeted on Sunday. "We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football."
  • "Having a season also incentivizes players being safe ... Without the season, as we've seen already, people will not social distance or wear masks and take the proper precautions."

The big picture: Following Lawrence's tweets, a dozen players from all five major conferences released a joint statement, expressing their desire to play the 2020 season, while laying out their plans to form a players' association in the future.

"We got down to talking and agreed that both of our goals are aligned with each other. We all want to play this year. We just want to make sure players have a say in this thing."
ā€” Stanford DE Dylan Boles
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