Several Ohio Colleges Push Back
The Start of Fall Sports
By: Staff Reporter 7-2-2020
The possibility of a college football season is still up in the air, but it could look different come kickoff of week 1.
The Ohio Athletic Conference (Division 3) announced on Thursday that the start of the football, volleyball and soccer seasons will be delayed until September 19th with a league only schedule
due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its outdoor sports of cross country, golf and tennis will be allowed to compete in outdoor competitions starting in September.
With FBS schools across the country reporting cases within their teams as workouts return,
could this be the same fate for major college sports?
The NCAA still has a month before fall practices are scheduled to begin so there's a two-week window where players could test positive and quarantine without having to miss a single practice, but if the cases continue to emerge into August
the NCAA may have to rethink starting on time.
If the top tier in college football were to follow the OVC in delaying the season by a month,
schools would lose much more money than their counterparts in the lower ranks.
That might be an option down the line, but not discussed unless absolutely needed.
You could also see the season being played in full, but with a date pushed back by a week or two.
The Ohio Athletic Conference is the third oldest in the U.S. featuring 10 historic schools from around the Buckeye State who compete at the NCAA Division III level in 23 sports.
There is some flexibility with that as the opening Saturday of the season has only seven games scheduled and could be moved. The end of the season could possibly also be pushed back as a majority of bowl games have not been given a date yet.
Moving closer to high school football and the OHSAA where we are a month away from the official start to the fall sports season. Some schools have shut down football workouts for a period of time due to players testing positive for COVID-19, but like the NCAA there is still time for players to quarantine and recover before the start of the season.
If cases continue into August, which is a possibility, could we be seeing a shortened season?
With the OHSAA having expanded the playoffs by one round starting this season would they be willing to delay that by one year in order to get a full season in and have an extra week to
start the season?
You have to remember that the OHSAA has a locked-in date with Canton for the state championships, so moving the title games back by a week or two isn't an easy option.
Another option would be shortening the season by one or two games.
There are some teams that only play a nine-game schedule due to scheduling, so doing that
in order to get an extra week or two of preparation wouldn't be out of the ordinary.
The seasons could also start on time if players and coaches are able to recover on time and use the appropriate social distancing practices outside of the playing field.
For now, it's wait and see.