There's a lot of good information in this piece from Brett McMurphy, but there was a quote from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby which really stuck out to me.
Stadium — Multiple conference commissioners told Stadium that student-athletes would not be prevented from returning to campus to play football this season if classes are limited to online-only instruction.
This is a dramatic shift from just a few weeks ago, when many college administrators indicated the general student body would need to return to on-campus classes in order for student-athletes to participate in college football. Those decisions – whether to play if the campus is closed to general students but open to student-athletes – ultimately will be made by the individual school presidents or chancellors.
“Going to class in an online sense is satisfactory,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “There’s room for that to happen. School has to be in session, student-athletes have to be going to class.”
Several SEC decision makers have said all but there will certainly be college football, but now hearing this from the head honcho of another Power Five conference makes it perfect clear: short of another unprecedented disaster, there will be college football.
All these people know they can't come out and say it right now, but many schools have already announced students will be back on campus this fall, and even if that doesn't happen everywhere, it appears most power brokers have decided football is getting played come hell or high water.
Many thought this idea would never be entertained, due to the fact it would be a pretty bad look for the NCAA to have schools who deem it unsafe for all students to be there, but then have the money makers practicing and playing football games. But it seems to me the harsh reality of what athletic departments would look like with a missed college football season has put absolutely all options back on the table and everyone is eager to choose whichever one leads to a football season. And maybe with the new name, image and likeness guidelines, we're finally starting to erode the charade of the "student-athlete" concept and have these guys do what they're really there to do — play football — but also let them earn money like anyone else in this country can for doing so.
I'm optimistic, however, that this option won't even need to be enacted. Many Power Five schools have already announced students will be back and several football programs have come out with plans to even have fans — with social distancing guidelines — at games this fall. Whether there are people in the crowd or not, I have grown increasingly bullish on the fact that there will be a 2020 college football season.
Let's continue praying that becomes a reality.