All NCAA championship events are permanently canceled through the end of the 2019-20 academic year, and all of college football is on pause until April 15 through the absolute earliest, when the SEC's moratorium on spring football practices and the NCAA's ban on in-person recruiting is scheduled to end.
But it's looking like that April 15 is nothing more than an absolute-best-case-scenario date that becomes less realistic with each passing day.
Over the weekend, the Centers for Disease Control released a guideline that all "mass gatherings" of more than 50 people should be postponed for the next eight weeks. Eight weeks from today is May 11.
Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.
Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.
Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.
This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.
That is just a guideline, sure, but you be the first coach, AD, or conference commissioner to go against the CDC's recommendation in this climate.
Assuming that mid-May date holds, does the NCAA allow teams to hold spring practices in May and/or June? Does the NCAA push forward the fall camp into July to give teams six weeks or more to prep for the season?
No one could possibly know that answer right now, but hopefully we'll have one in the next eight weeks.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.