Factions form with college football season in the balance
With college football on the brink, Monday saw an outpouring of support for playing a fall season from numerous parties, including President Trump, Ohio State coach Ryan Day and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Yes, but: Monday also saw the Mountain West Conference become the second FBS league to postpone fall sports, and the Big Ten and Pac-12 are expected to make the same decision as early as this morning.
- What to watch: A rare heart condition that could be linked with COVID-19 is fueling concern among Power 5 administrators. Myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle, has been found in several college athletes, ESPN reports.
The state of play: "Adhering to its fractured nature, the NCAA's five richest conferences formed factions over the idea of playing a season this fall," SI's Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde write.
- The Pac-12 and Big Ten are both meeting today, and the expectation is that they will postpone their seasons.
- The SEC and ACC would like to play.
- The Big 12 is "really split," per SI.
Between the lines: In addition to conferences being on different pages, battles are also raging between coaches and administrators, and athletic departments and universities. All the while, players are demanding their voices be heard.
- For any conference to hold a fall football season, it would have to reckon with the demands of players. And if it did, the sport would never be the same.
- In fact, multiple people I spoke with believe the push to postpone football is not entirely due to COVID-19, and that conferences are hoping to slow momentum around players organizing, while buying themselves time to respond to mounting attacks on amateurism rules.
The bottom line: Today could be one of the most consequential days in college sports history, and the decisions made by the Big Ten, Pac-12 and others will affect every campus — and every sport. Remember, football funds everything.