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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 3, 2020 - Sports

The NBA is pushing to start its season in December

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After initially indicating that the 2020-21 season would likely start in January or February, NBA officials are now pushing for a 72-game season starting Dec. 22.

The state of play: There are obvious financial benefits to an earlier start, including the preservation of the league's marquee Christmas games and not having to compete with football again, let alone the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

McCarthy jokes about hitting Pelosi with gavel if he becomes Speaker, in new audio

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) can be heard saying "it would be hard not to hit" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the speaker's gavel if Republicans retake the House in 2022 and he becomes speaker, according to new audio posted to Twitter by a Main Street Nashville reporter.

Driving the news: McCarthy made the comments during a fundraising event in Tennessee, as he was handed an oversized gavel by members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, reports CNN.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. and U.K. blame Iran for drone strike on oil tanker

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Photo: Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that the United States and United Kingdom, respectively, now believe Iran was likely responsible for last week's drone strike on an oil tanker in the Arabian sea.

Why it matters: The United States and Britain now join Israel in accusing Tehran of being behind the July 29 attack off the coast of Oman. Iran has denied involvement.