Could College Football Be Headed for a Shortened Summer Season?

Chris Dukes

Could college football be headed for a shortened summer season?

The question was raised by Sports Business Daily in a recent article, but would it really be possible?

With sports and life in general shut down in the United States due to concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus, many are beginning to wonder just how long we will be at a standstill. 

This is creating some unlikely scenarios across all major sporting leagues, including NCAA football. There have been some rumblings that we could see college football attempt to move its season up, opening camp in June, then playing a season that lasts through August. 

The hopes would be the warm weather will slow the spread of COVID-19 over the next few months, allowing a short window of time to play games before the expectant return of the virus in the fall. 

Per the site: 

"Amid a growing concern that the college football season could be pushed back, or even canceled, an alternative could come into play -- moving the season up to July, August and September, writes SBJ’s Michael Smith. Every other scenario has the season starting later in the fall, at a time when the coronavirus could be returning for another round of infections as the cool weather returns and a vaccine most likely unavailable until 2021. But staging an abbreviated college football season in the summer presents an opportunity to play games when the warm weather could help prevent the spread of the virus."

Our take

I just don't see this happening. I think if we do see another wave of the virus in the fall, it will likely mean the outright cancellation of the 2020 season. 

The site presents this as a hypothetical situation with a bunch of "ifs" inserted into the equation including questions about campuses being open, fans being allowed into the stadium, media partners being receptive to the idea and many more. 

Those logistical questions are likely too much to overcome to get a season in that early. We don't even yet know if the current "shelter in place" directives in many states would be lifted in time to start a camp early and we are trying really hard to avoid speculation about the virus - there is way too much of that going on by unqualified people as it is - but it doesn't seem likely right now that anyone is going to be jumping into large crowds in a couple months' time. 

Still, how strange would it be to see the Red River Showdown take place in July, with no State Fair and possibly no fans in attendance? It's highly doubtful that would happen, but we are living in extraordinary times.