PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – JULY 11
By Leo Haggerty

DELAY OF GAME

So, the dominoes are starting to fall when it comes to the 2020 fall intercollegiate athletic calendar this week.  It’s starting to look like there will be a definite change in the college sports environment especially when it comes to football.

First, the Ivy League officially announced on Wednesday that they are postponing fall sports until the spring semester due to the pandemic.  Obviously, that decision affects football but also includes men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s field hockey and volleyball.

The edict by the Ivy League Council of Presidents also said no sports will take place until, at least, the end of the first semester.  That would impact the winter sports that stretch over both semesters such as men’s and women’s basketball and hockey.

Going forward, the release by the Ivy League stated that, “A decision on the remaining winter and spring sports competition calendar, and on whether fall sport competition would be feasible in the spring, will be determined at a later date.”

Ivy League football teams play at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level.  More important is the fact that none of the eight conference member institutions participate in the NCAA playoffs.  That makes it a whole lot easier for the Ivy League to create a game schedule that could be played in the spring.

Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and President of the University of Oregon, Michael Schill, reiterated that, “Competitive sports are an integral part of the educational experience for our student-athletes.  We will do everything that we can to support them in achieving their dreams while at the same time ensuring that their health and safety is at the forefront.”

Now, here’s an interesting and refreshing sidebar showing that the PAC-12 is not just giving lip service to Covid-19.  All PAC-12 scholarship athletes who choose not to participate during the coming academic year because of safety concerns about the coronavirus will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain a with their team.  Well played, PAC-12, well played.

Look for the other three Power 5 conferences to come up with some sort of similar plans over the weekend.  For that reason, I will withhold commentary until Monday because I expect that to occur.

I will leave you with this question that was asked by the smartest person on the planet and that’s my wife Barbara.  After hearing the adjusted schedules by the Big Ten and Pac-12, Mrs. Haggerty so pondered out loud, “So, how does only playing conference games make it any safer for athletes?”

The spouse came with the heater with that one but I have an answer.  Sorry but you’ll have to wait until Monday for that response.  That’ll give you time to formulate yours as well as examine the poll question replies from our staff on Sunday.

Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Above all, stay safe.