The big picture

College sports stare down a coronavirus-driven disaster in the fall

Wednesday was the worst day in college sports since March 12.

Jul 9, 2020 - Sports
Universities cut sports teams, as they struggle with coronavirus fallout

Thousands of student-athletes' careers have abruptly ended.

Jun 26, 2020 - Sports
The latest on national legislation to pay student athletes

The NCAA is fearful that state-by-state action will lead to competitive unbalance and chaos.

Jun 19, 2020 - Sports
The rise of student-athlete activism

They're driving the national conversation in ways their predecessors could only dream about.

Jun 10, 2020 - Sports
The NCAA's "predator pipeline"

Nowhere in its 440-page rule book does it cite penalties for sexual violence.

Jan 23, 2020 - Sports
The NCAA's "Decade of Realignment," revisited

In 2010, TV money was exploding, and universities were suddenly willing to abandon traditions in the name of revenue.

Jul 29, 2019 - Sports

All NCAA stories

Sep 24, 2020 - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Sep 24, 2020 - Sports

Checking in on college hoops

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

No sport was impacted by the onset of COVID-19 more than college basketball, which saw the cancellation of March Madness. Now, we've come full circle, with details emerging about the upcoming campaign.

Where things stand: The season will begin a few weeks later than normal on Nov. 25, with the non-conference slate comprised mostly of multi-team events.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 23, 2020 - Sports

D-I fall championships to be held in spring

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NCAA Division I board of directors approved a plan on Tuesday for fall sports' championships — including FCS football — to be held in the spring.

Why it matters: D-I athletes who saw their fall seasons canceled or postponed due to the pandemic will get to compete for championships.

Sep 16, 2020 - Sports

Big Ten to begin football season in October

An Ohio State-Rutgers football game in 2016. Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Big Ten announced Wednesday that it will begin its football season during the weekend of Oct. 23-24, backed by daily coronavirus testing for all on-field personnel and enhanced cardiac screenings.

Why it matters: The conference was the first Power 5 league to postpone its 2020 fall sports seasons because of coronavirus concerns.

Sep 11, 2020 - Sports

Coach John Calipari's strange streak

John Calipari and Anthony Davis at the 2012 ESPY Awards. Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

John Calipari has coached a veritable who's who of current NBA talent in his 11 years at Kentucky, producing 29 first-round picks — but not a single NBA champion.

Yes, but: This could be the year his streak ends, as five of the seven remaining teams have at least one of Calipari's ex-Wildcats on their roster.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Sep 11, 2020 - Sports

College football's fall of uncertainty

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With all due respect to last weekend's slate of games, college football started in earnest last night when Miami beat UAB, 31-14, to kick off the Power 5 season.

The state of play... Power 5: ACC and Big 12 begin this weekend; SEC starts on Sept. 26; Big Ten and Pac-12 are postponed until the spring.

Sep 5, 2020 - Sports

77 of 130 major college football teams to play this season

Rodney Dixon, a University of Iowa football dad (left), and Randy White, an Ohio State dad, during a parents' protest outside Big Ten HQ in Rosemont, Ill., on Aug. 21. Photo: Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune via AP

As college football kicks off in earnest over the holiday weekend, 77 of the 130 major teams are playing this fall, while the other 53, including the entire Big Ten and Pac-12, have postponed their seasons, AP reports.

The state of play: Players are being COVID-tested three times a week. Positive tests will send players to isolation for at least 10 days and players deemed to be close contacts of those who test positive will face two-week quarantines. Masks must be worn on the sidelines. And with no Big Ten or Pac-12, both of which postponed their seasons and hope to make them up, there'll be no No. 2 Ohio State, No. 7 Penn State or No. 9 Oregon.

Go deeper: College football's coronavirus confusion isn't new

The fleeting facade of amateurism in college sports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If football and men's basketball players at Power 5 colleges were paid under collective bargaining agreements like their professional peers in the NFL and NBA, they would earn annual salaries of $360,000 and $500,000, respectively.

Driving the news: That's according to a new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which also estimates that high-profile athletes like quarterbacks ($2.4 million per year on average) and every starting player on a basketball team (between $800,000 and $1.2 million per year) would earn significantly more.

Sep 1, 2020 - Sports

Nick Saban and Alabama players organize march against police brutality

Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Alabama football coach Nick Saban marched on Monday against social injustices and police brutality with dozens of football players along his side through Alabama University.

The big picture: Sports teams and leagues are taking a bigger stand this year than they ever have in previous years. The police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis. prompted NBA players to boycott games for the first time.

Aug 20, 2020 - Sports

The pandemic's impact on NCAA fall sports

Stanford celebrates winning the 2019 women's soccer national title. Photo: Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

With college football grabbing most of the headlines, it's easy to forget the other fall sports that have been affected by the pandemic.

The state of play: The NCAA has postponed all fall championships (outside of FBS football), while regular season decisions are up to conferences and schools.

More NCAA stories