In response to mounting speculation about the impact of COVID-19 on the upcoming fall sports season, the NCAA has established a group to work on solutions and best practices.
The COVID-19 Playing and Practice Seasons Working Group will focus on football, but its findings will likely impacted all fall sports, according to an NCAA release Friday.
“This cross-functional, representative group will be responsible for identifying, examining and recommending advice, solutions and/or direction to the relevant governance committees to respond to playing and practice issues of a national scope arising from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the release reads.
The working group will communicate directly with the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee and the NCAA Divisions II and III Football Committees, according to the release.
“The foundation of return to practice and competition is public health. Assuming safety principles are in place, there are many ‘what if’ scenarios that this group will assess, including possible modifications of conditioning and training in the summer and pre-season,” the release reads.
A timeline for instituting potential solutions is premature at this time, according to the release.
University President Michael V. Drake said Thursday in an interview with WOSU that whatever the football season looks like in 2020, it won’t be the same as it was this past year.
“We’re not assuming, necessarily, that the season is going to start and be like last season was,” Drake said. “That’s not at all a given. We’re not also thinking that there won’t be a season, so something between those two wide error bars is where we’re looking for planning.”