Tracking Football Colleges that Plan to Be Open in the Fall

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As the world continues to cope with the Coronavirus, a prevailing question in the sports world is if there will be football season and what that will look like. The NFL, for better or worse, is run more as an autocracy than college football. We saw that with the Draft where Roger Goodell powered through with the plans and quashed dissent. They have plans that include contingencies to possibly push the Super Bowl three weeks later. With regards to college, it’s become clear that the universities being open for classes will be a prerequisite to holding football season. Outkick will keep a running list of which power five schools have announced plans to operate this Fall:

SEC

Alabama – President Dr. Stuart Bell: “As we look forward to accomplishing another great fall semester welcoming back students and welcoming back our sports teams to be able to have competition.  Those are our plans and it’s a high bar and anticipates that we will be able to meet that.”

ArkansasHunter Yurachek, vice chancellor and director of athletics: “There is one plan that would have our student-athletes return to campus for official team activities around July 15, to hit the target of an on-time, September 5 start to football season.”

GeorgiaPresident Jere Morehead: “Our expectation at this point is that we’ll have a normal football season and be able to play all of our games … Certainly our hope and expectation is that we’ll have fans in stands, and we hope that we’ll have our players here at some point during the month of July.”

Florida – “Over the last few months the State University System has risen to the COVID-19 challenge by nimbly and effectively moving classes to remote instruction, and also stepping up by giving back to their communities and leveraging their expertise to address some of the most critical challenges posed by this global pandemic,” said Chancellor Marshall Criser, III. “As we move forward with a framework for the fall, we will be mindful that a healthy campus environment and academic rigor remain paramount.”

Kentucky – President Eli Capilouto: “We plan to open in August for our Fall semester.”

LSU – Interim President Tom Galligan: “We are absolutely planning on being open in the fall”

Mississippi State – “Mississippi State issued a release Wednesday stating the university is fully committed to reopening its campus to students this fall. MSU’s classes have been online only since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Per the release, university president Mark Keenum said plans to resume in-person classroom and laboratory instruction during the fall 2020 semester are ‘on schedule and taking solid form.'”

Missouri – Interim Chancellor Mun Y. Choi: “In consultation with public health officials and Mizzou’s own health care experts, we are developing plans for our return to campus within a “new normal” that we expect will be necessary.”

Tennessee – “We are planning for a safe return to campuses in the fall and will do everything possible to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff,” said UT System President Randy Boyd. “We will continually monitor the local and state health data and policies and be prepared to adjust and communicate our plans when needed.”

Texas A&M – “Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp told all 11 university presidents in the system that they will reopen their campuses next school year and be ready to play sports, a university system official confirmed to The Texas Tribune.”

Big Ten

Illinois – Director of Undergraduate Admissions Andy Borst: “We are planning for in-person classes to begin as scheduled.”

Iowa – “We’re ever so hopeful that this virus will be behind us at that point, and we’ll be able to get back to what we normally would do,” University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld told the Board of Regents on Thursday. “Right now, June 1 is the date we’re going to get back to [football] practice.”

Ohio State – “Athletic Director Gene Smith tells 10TV’s Dom Tiberi that the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and Schumaker Complex will open for the athletes with protocols in place starting June 8.”

Purdue – President Mitch Daniels: “I can tell you for the moment, there is strong, strong interest for a Purdue education for this fall … We have every intention of being on campus this fall. We are sober about the challenges that will bring. We believe in the value of the on-campus experience, and we’re determined, if we’re permitted to do so by the public authorities and medical circumstances. If at all possible, we intend to be open and operating.”

Wisconsin – “We fully expect to remain open in the fall,” UW System President Ray Cross said. “How we deliver education for students depends on a number of factors.”

Big 12

Baylor – President Linda Livingstone: “As we near completion of the spring semester and the economy begins to re-start, we must prepare for yet another stage of transition with summer online course delivery, a return to campus for faculty and staff, and the upcoming fall semester.”

Iowa State – “Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen’s plan for the 2020 fall semester includes students returning to campus, and student-athletes resuming normal activities.”

Kansas State – President Richard Myers: “Based on the most recent guidance from our state and local health officials, we intend to resume on-campus operations this fall semester.”

Oklahoma – Interim President Joseph Harroz: “We are acutely aware of the certain challenges COVID-19 will present as we pursue this goal and are planning to address the issues proactively and creatively. We are prepared to adapt instructional and housing models as appropriate to protect our community and still offer the life-changing, in-person OU experience.”

TCU – “Texas Christian University Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. announced to students, parents, faculty and staff that the university intends for students to safely return to campus for the fall 2020 semester, with a planned start date of Aug. 24.”

Texas Tech – President Lawrence Schovanec: “We need to recognize that campus life will be different when we return in the fall. We are developing several ways to reduce the density of groups in our student facilities, large lecture-based classrooms, and our popular campus areas. These same plans extend to special events, including athletics.”

West Virginia – President E. Gordon Gee: “We have every hope and expectation of safely resuming in-person education across the West Virginia University system this fall. It will take all of us working together to create and maintain a safe campus environment.”

ACC

Florida State – “Over the last few months the State University System has risen to the COVID-19 challenge by nimbly and effectively moving classes to remote instruction, and also stepping up by giving back to their communities and leveraging their expertise to address some of the most critical challenges posed by this global pandemic,” said Chancellor Marshall Criser, III. “As we move forward with a framework for the fall, we will be mindful that a healthy campus environment and academic rigor remain paramount.”

North Carolina and NC State – “I expect to reopen our campuses for the Fall 2020 Semester and look forward to welcoming our faculty and students back to their classrooms and labs this fall,” UNC System interim President Bill Roper said in a statement Wednesday. “To do so, we are working closely with our chancellors to chart a course forward.”

Virginia Tech – President Tim Sands: “The fall is an opportunity for us to bring the campus back to life to some degree,” Sands said. “We’re really hoping and planning that will be an in-person fall, but with caveats — and there are still some major decisions to be made.”

Pac-12

Arizona – President Robert Robbins: “I am pleased to publicly announce today our intention to return to in-person classes at the University of Arizona for the fall semester.”

Arizona State – President Michael Crow “said they would ‘implement whatever safety measures and health protocols are necessary to keep students and employees safe’ upon their return on Aug. 20.”

Oregon – President Michael Schill: “I want to let you all know that we fully intend and are currently planning to be open for in-person, on-campus instruction this fall.”

Washington State – President Kirk Schulz: “We are also planning on in-person instruction for the Fall 2020 Semester at all Washington State University campuses.”

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Notre Dame – The University of Notre Dame will welcome students back to campus for the 2020-21 fall semester the week of Aug. 10, two weeks earlier than originally scheduled, and will forgo fall break in October and end the semester before Thanksgiving, the University’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today in letters to the campus community.

Schools that have announced that they plan to have in-person instruction in the fall — but hedged with wording like “under the best case scenario”–  include Oklahoma State, Florida, Colorado State, Indiana, Syracuse, Miami, and Nebraska.

Non power five schools that have football programs and plan to be open in the fall include Austin Peay, Rice, Memphis, and Middle Tennessee.

As you see more schools announce that they are open, please email me at Glasspiegel.Ryan@gmail.com or ping me on Twitter @SportsRapport.

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