Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby on Plan to Go Forward With College Football Season: 'I Feel Very Good About It'

Publish date:

In an interview with TheStreet's Jim Cramer, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he feels "very good" about the conference's plan to go forward with the college football season.

The Big 12 is among the conferences that have chosen to hold a college football season in the fall, joining the SEC and ACC in the Power 5. Meanwhile, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have opted to postpone their fall seasons with the potential to play in the spring. 

While some have considered the Big 12's decision to be controversial amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bowlsby said that the conference's panel has taken its time and based its plan “upon the best advice that we could get from medical professionals and scientists.” 

"We've had a Big 12 medical doctors advisory panel and also a consultant from Duke University that have been advising us. ... There hasn't been anybody that says, 'This is a bad idea, you shouldn't go forward with it,'" Bowlsby told Cramer. "They haven't told us we have two wheels off the rails and we're gonna have a train wreck. If they tell us that, obviously we're going to have to be prepared to pivot, but to this point in time, I feel very good about where we are and I think that our teams do as well."

Bowlsby added that players have been appreciative that they still have the choice to play this season, though they have the option to opt out of playing while still receiving their scholarship and a year of eligibility.

Despite Bowlsby's optimism about the Big 12's plan, he said he does not expect the season to be without its faults. 

"I don't think the year is going to be conducted without some disruptions," Bowlsby told Cramer. "But having said that, there isn't anything that anyone has directed to us that says, 'You absolutely shouldn't play this year.'"

While the Big 12's medical panel has advised the conference it can move forward with its season, the Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed their seasons in part due to the threat of myocarditis in athletes, a heart inflammation condition that has formed in those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Among the Big 12's considerations, though, is that current studies on myocarditis focus on middle-aged adults rather than young, healthy athletes. 

"The heart doesn't deserve to be the certain of the universe in this equation," Dr. Michael Ackerman, part of the Big 12's advisory panel, told Cramer. "The heart isn't and should not be used as a straw that broke the proverbial camel's back reason to say, 'We're done with sports for now or students returning to campus for now.'"

The Big 12's conference football season is scheduled to begin on Sept. 26 with the title game tentatively set for Dec. 12 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, however multiple teams are scheduled to host a nonconference game on Sept. 12.