Coronavirus could impact the college football season in a multitude of ways

In the wake of winter and spring sports being uprooted due to COVID-19, much of the focus has centered on college athletics that were set to take place over the next 2-3 months. That’s understandable, of course; however, to completely look past fall sports as being at risk, too, seems optimistic.

Football is obviously a significant driver of revenue for college athletics, though there are plenty of other socioeconomic factors at play here, too.

With that in mind, there are plenty of scenarios that could play out. There’s so much that’s outside the hands of college athletics; the NCAA can only control its own little universe. It’s important to remember: all of this is fluid. However, some possible solutions could have the season looking far different than what we’re accustomed to seeing.

Let’s assume the season starts on schedule — or approaches something close to its early September launch. Demand to watch the sport on television will be extraordinary, which is saying something. But some patrons could also be wary of attending football games in person, surrounded by tens of thousands of people.

As of right now, we’re still less than two weeks into a temporary dead period placed on recruiting. Although there’s still plenty of recruiting going on; for instance, UNC landed a commitment from 4-star 2021 athlete DeAndre Boykins last week. (According to a report from 247 Sports, coaches at one university were notified that on-campus and off-campus recruiting visits/contacts have been prohibited until April 15.)

As far as winter sports goes, athletes are unlikely to be granted an extra year of eligibility. Those who play spring sports, with their seasons close to their onset, will likely receive an extra year. An official vote for those two items is set for next Monday, March 30, though.