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Cautious Optimism Seems to be Growing for a College Football Season

Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger And Pat Forde met with 10 conference commissioners and the Notre Dame athletic director for a definitive look at where the 2020 season currently stands

While news concerning the 2020 college football season has been mostly grim in recent months, with several major voices expressing doubt on whether it will be played at all, a shell of a plan appears to be developing among the powers that be in the sport. 

Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger And Pat Forde recently wrangled up all 10 major conference commissioners and the Notre Dame athletic director for a definitive look at where the 2020 college football season currently stands. 

The NCAA recently extended the recruiting dead period to the end of June, but there is reason for some to believe that there is a light coming at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel. 

More long-term plans are coming into view, too. There is consensus in a six-week training camp that begins in mid-July and elevates in physicality from Week 1 to Week 6, slowly acclimating players who will have gone as much as four months without supervised training. Anticipating this, some schools are even exploring the purchase of testing equipment for their training rooms, as commissioners agree that every athlete and staff member needs testing.

All of these plans are dependent on improved public safety measures, which national officials have assured commissioners are coming sooner rather than later. 

“I would say I’m a little more optimistic today than I was two weeks ago,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby says. “Some of that is having been on the calls with the White House. One of the things we heard is that it’s expected that testing nationally is going to double every month from now on.”

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One thing most everyone involved seems to agree on is football can't happen in its normal form unless there are open campuses across America, something that will be out of the conference commissioners' hands.  

Athletic administrators aren’t going to decide this stuff. It’s going to be university presidents empowered by their boards, and their board is typically powered by the governor and public health director," Bob Bowlsby said.  Until we get a green flag, we can do all the planning we want to, but none of it is worth the paper it’s written on until we start to see a little bit of a timeframe.

All of these moving pieces are also under a bit of a ticking clock as we approach some hard deadlines in the middle of the summer. 

 If we don’t start until the first of August, it is likely to delay the beginning of the football season," Bowlsby said. "I think we have to see evidence that we can start practicing in earnest by the 15th of July or in that ballpark."

This is really just scratching the surface on what Dellenger and Forde were able to put together. 

The 5,000-plus word story goes into deep detail on the current college football landscape and is certainly worth a read if you get a chance - so much so that I'll provide a second link to the story here

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