The Coronavirus pandemic means the 2020 college football season won’t be fair. It’s better than no season at all. | Instant News

While The NCAA allows soccer players to start voluntary training on campus on Monday, some schools don’t allow it until next week. Or next month. Or an uncertain time after that, maybe.

Like states that have decided for themselves when and how to reopen their economy during the coronavirus pandemic, schools make individual decisions about reopening their facilities to athletes, even if it means losing competitive advantage for a competitor. Expect the upcoming football season to look the same way.

It will not be uniform. That will not be normal. That is not fair.

But in the middle of a pandemic, an unbalanced season is the best we can hope for.

Related: We started to get answers about campus football in the COVID-19 era

The idea of ‚Äč‚Äčcompetitive balance in college football is, as Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, “for the most part is a mirage.” This sport has not yet crowned the first national champion since Florida in 1996. Electrical programs such as Florida and Florida State almost always beat major intermediate programs such as USF and UCF on the field and in recruitment.

Mirage cannot look the same this year, no matter what the NCAA’s virus-related actions.

Only a few schools, including UCF and BYU, said they would resume soccer training Monday. Almost all SEC The school, plus Clemson and Ohio State, plans to start June 8. The Big 12 can continue training on June 15, but Oklahoma will not begin until July 1.

“Even though the NCAA has and allowed voluntary training from June 1, as we know in this environment, they really don’t determine what happens,” Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall said recently. “The state and each institution really determine what is safe.”

Because the pandemic has attacked each region differently, the guidelines differ in each school. Although Georgia aims to start training on June 8, Georgia Tech’s rivals will not return until a week later.

Related: Four pandemic campus sports issues have been revealed, and how to fix them

An extra week for informal sprints and weight lifting might not sound like much, but the team keeps looking for every side they can find. They use a troop of analysts to break the opponent’s second and long tendencies. Coaches spend the 2016 offseason either complaining or exploiting a satellite camp.

So, yes, extra training time “can certainly have advantages,” as Mendenhall said. But the potential benefits of conditioning should not be as important as the health of everyone in and around a program.

Timeline of returning to work differently is just one of the newest ways a pandemic affects teams unevenly. Arizona State completed spring practice before the outbreak began. FSU got past three. UF does not start.

Homefield benefits will likely differ according to country and school. The Miami president said he expected the Hurricanes to play in the stadium without fans. The State of Iowa already planning a half-full stadium. The State of Ohio aim for 50,000 fans in the stadium with a capacity of 102,780.

Related: Road map for college football programs leading to COVID-19 season

Many other hypotheses can complicate the College Football Playoff image and conference title race.

Some Georgian students were quarantined during the October 1918 influenza outbreak that closed all public places in Athens. What happens to the team and its opponents if something like that happens in October? Whether one conference will be disadvantaged if some members can’t play right away? How does the Football College Playoff committee see games that are postponed? And given how much things have changed in the last three months, what questions will arise three months from now that we cannot imagine today?

“We all like to do the same thing so we have a fair chance to compete,” Bowlsby told CBS. “And this is a situation where we cannot always do that.”

Not now, when players start exercising again. Not next month, when it is hoped that formal practice can begin. And not September 5, when most teams are scheduled to start.

Related: Six lessons in college football history can be applied to the coronavirus pandemic

This season, like the reopening, won’t be fair to everyone. But it’s better than no seasons at all.

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