The coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the college sports landscape, leaving many questions unanswered.
Complex, high-stakes public health issues need to be dealt with before there is a good sense of what college sports will look like.
Here is the latest news and updates from the college sports world.
Jump to: Latest news | What will football look like? | What about the CFP? | Program, financial cuts
Latest news: Nebraska official: Big Ten decision later Tuesday
Tuesday, Sept. 15: Two days after Big Ten presidents and chancellors met to review information about a possible fall football season, University of Nebraska system president Ted Carter was caught on a hot microphone saying that an announcement will come later Tuesday.
Orgeron: ‘Most’ of team has contracted virus: LSU football coach Ed Orgeron said Tuesday that most of his team has contracted COVID-19.
Gators see virus spike: The Florida Gators’ athletic department reported 61 new positive COVID-19 cases Tuesday, including six for the football team just a little more than a week before its season opener at Ole Miss.
Trojans ask California Gov. to let them play: USC football players are appealing to California Gov. Gavin Newsom to ease public health restrictions, which would allow them to play a fall season.
Georgia bans on-campus tailgaiting: The Georgia Bulldogs will not allow tailgating on campus for football games this season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Arkansas St. postpones game due to COVID-19: Arkansas State has postponed Saturday’s game against Central Arkansas to Oct. 10 because of player availability issues within one position group.
Monday, Sept. 14: The Pac-12’s “most aggressive” return plan is currently targeting mid-to-late November, according to a source familiar with the league’s discussions.
Texas Tech says 5 more test positive: Five Texas Tech football players tested positive for COVID-19 last week, bringing the team’s total positive cases to 75 since players returned to campus in the middle of June, the school announced.
Sunday, Sept. 13: The Big Ten’s presidents and chancellors did not vote Sunday on whether to start the fall football season after hearing updated medical information and other presentations on a potential return to play, sources told ESPN.
Saturday, Sept. 12: Virginia and Virginia Tech postponed their Sept. 19 matchup because of “COVID-19 issues.” A future date has not been set.
Houston and Memphis postpone game: The AAC’s opener, Houston at Memphis, set for Sept. 18 has been postponed due to “a significant number” of cases within the Memphis program. Houston will fill the hole in its schedule with Baylor next week in Waco.
BYU and Army postpone: With “a small number of positive COVID-19 test results” within the BYU program, Army and BYU have announced the teams are postponing the matchup that was set for Sept. 19.
ACC needs eight teams to continue season: Following the postponement of the Virginia at Virginia Tech game, the ACC determined the conference needs at least eight out of 15 teams to move forward with the season.
Tigers miss practice: Five Auburn Tigers missed practice this week due to COVID-19 related issues. The new additions make it 10 Auburn players sidelined due to the virus.
Friday, Sept. 11: Memphis has paused football activities and its game next week against Houston is in jeopardy after a “significant number of individuals” inside the program were placed into quarantine due to coronavirus protocols.
Vanderbilt will play without fans: Vanderbilt has announced that the Commodores will start the fall season in all sports without any fans at home events through October.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron says most of his players have caught the coronavirus and he is prepared for more positive tests.
Thursday, Sept. 10: Ohio State and head coach Ryan Day released a statement that said the school could return to the football field as early as mid-October.
Rutgers president calls Trump comments ‘cheap politics’: Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway said President Donald Trump’s involvement in the push to start the Big Ten football season will not impact his decision on when Big Ten sports should resume.
Wednesday, Sept. 9: Defending national champion LSU will have fans this season at 25% capacity of Tiger Stadium but no tailgating on campus, the school announced Wednesday.
Penn State pauses activities: Penn State has paused team activities indefinitely for several programs after 48 student-athletes tested positive for coronavirus, the school announced Wednesday.
Wisconsin football, hockey taking break: Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said the school’s football and men’s hockey teams are taking a two-week break from team activities as part of the school’s COVID-19 testing protocols.
Tuesday, Sept. 8: Oklahoma test results for the coronavirus will no longer be shared publicly, with the Sooners set to begin the regular season this week, coach Lincoln Riley announced Tuesday.
Politicians ask Big Ten to rethink postponement: Political leaders from six states sent a letter Tuesday to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and the league’s presidents and chancellors, urging the conference to reconsider its postponement of the 2020 football season.
Baylor’s opener postponed: The Louisiana Tech-Baylor season opener, set for Saturday in Waco, Texas, has been postponed because of a recent increase in positive COVID-19 tests at Louisiana Tech.
Friday, Sept. 4: In order to account for student-athletes who will have to miss games because of positive coronavirus tests, contact tracing and regular injuries, the Big 12 determined on Friday that teams with at least 53 players available — including seven offensive linemen, four interior defensive linemen and one quarterback — must play or it will be considered a forfeit.
Thursday, Sept. 3: Following a series of questions from ESPN, it was revealed that almost half of the 65 Power 5 schools have declined to disclose positive testing data from their respective programs. Of the Power 5 schools playing football this fall, 21 have declined to release positive tests.
Maryland suspends training: The University of Maryland has suspended athletic training after 46 positive tests over 10 different athletic teams.
Spring season recommendation: The Football Oversight Committee has recommended an eight-game spring season for conferences that have opted out of the fall season. The season would feature 15 practices over 29 days and would be completed by April 17.
Florida announces seating plan: The University of Florida announced a seating reduction plan for the 2020 season that will allow 17,000 fans at the Gators’ home, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Wednesday, Sept. 2: The Football Oversight Committee on Thursday is expected to make two recommendations to the Division I Council that will give the conferences that aren’t playing this fall a practice model that mirrors a typical spring, and a 13-week season that can end no later than April 17 or April 24.
Iowa State backtracks, says no fans for opener: Iowa State, which announced a plan on Monday to allow 25,000 fans to attend its Sept. 12 home opener against Louisiana, has reversed course and will no longer allow fans.
Tuesday, Sept. 1: Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren had a telephone call with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, after a White House representative reached out to the conference about having discussions concerning how the league can return to playing college football as soon as possible.
Ten UCF football players opting out: Ten University of Central Florida football players, including two projected starters, are opting out for the 2020 season because of concerns around the coronavirus pandemic, coach Josh Heupel said Tuesday.
Heather Dinich reports the Pac-12’s most aggressive plan to resume action could be mid-to-late November.
Monday, Aug. 31: Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone the fall football season, the league confirmed Monday in a brief and two affidavits filed in response to a lawsuit from eight Nebraska players.
Notre Dame limiting attendance: Notre Dame football attendance this fall will be limited to 20% or less of stadium capacity with priority going to students, the school announced Monday.
NC State to open with no fans: North Carolina State will open the football and other fall sports seasons with no fans in attendance for home competitions in September.
ACC testing plan: The ACC unveiled its testing plan for the upcoming season. The conference will conduct three tests a week during the regular season for all fall sports, including football.
Thursday, Aug. 27: Notre Dame announced it will play South Florida on Sept. 19 as its lone nonconference game of the football season.
NC State’s opener vs. Virginia Tech rescheduled: NC State’s season opener against Virginia Tech is moving from Sept. 12 to Sept. 26 because of a recent increase in COVID-19 cases that caused the Wolfpack to pause all athletic activities, the ACC announced Wednesday.
Masks mandatory at Oklahoma: Masks will be required on Oklahoma’s campus on football game days, and tailgating will be prohibited during the football season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
AAC moves non-football fall sports to spring: The American Athletic Conference will postpone the majority of its fall sports until the spring but plans to move forward with football in the fall, it announced Tuesday. The decision affects men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball, and could include cross country, “pending further NCAA clarification.”
Monday, Aug. 24: Alabama coach Nick Saban on Monday pushed back against the idea that money is the primary motivating factor for attempting to put on a college football season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NCAA OK’s 12-hour schedule model for idle teams: The NCAA’s Division I Council on Wednesday approved a 12-hour schedule model for teams not playing this fall that includes time for strength and conditioning, meetings, and five hours of on-field activities with helmets.
Kiffin: Allow Big Ten, Pac-12 players to transfer: Ole Miss football coach Lane Kiffin says players whose conferences have decided to postpone fall sports should be free to transfer without penalty.
Tuesday, Aug. 18: The SEC will require face coverings for all fans and workers attending football games this fall
SWAC details spring football plan: The SWAC became the first conference to announce plans for a spring football season Monday. The plan is for each team to play six conference and one nonconference game beginning February 27.
NCAA prepared to move basketball start date: The NCAA is prepared to shift the Nov. 10 start date for college basketball if necessary, according to a statement released Monday by Dan Gavitt, senior vice president of basketball.
Sunday, Aug. 16: Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields started a petition requesting the Big Ten immediately reinstate the 2020 football season, a petition that had nearly 250,000 signatures as of 4 p.m. ET Monday.
Friday, Aug. 14: The ASUN Conference says it is postponing all fall sports because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday, Aug. 13: NCAA president Mark Emmert said on Thursday there won’t be fall NCAA championships because there’s not enough schools participating because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — a decision that impacts 22 championships, including FCS football.
Emmert says using bubbles for championships in 2021 ‘perfectly viable’: NCAA president Mark Emmert endorsed the idea of potentially using bubbles for NCAA championships — including basketball — in the first half of 2021, saying Thursday night that it’s “perfectly viable in many sports.”
CFP committee stays intact: The College Football Playoff announced its recusals for 10 of its 13 selection committee members. In a preseason that continues to be unlike any other, four of them have asterisks by their names because their affiliated schools aren’t playing football this fall — including committee chair and Iowa athletic director Gary Barta.
WAC suspends competition through end of 2020: The Western Athletic Conference joined a growing number of its peers and has suspended fall sports competition until at least the end of the calendar year.
Big Sky scuttles rest of fall sports: The Big Sky Conference has voted to postpone all fall sports competition until the spring because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Southland opts for spring college football: The Southland Conference has postponed football until the spring but will allow its members to play nonconference games this fall if they wish.
College football programs have had to adjust in a variety of ways to face two opponents this season: the team across the field and COVID-19.
Wednesday, Aug. 12: Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated the conference’s comfort moving forward with a fall season is based on medical professionals’ stance that it isn’t “unsafe” to play. Bowlsby said that if doctors tell them it is unsafe then the conference will stop the season.
NCAA council recommends eligibility extensions: The NCAA Division I Council recommended Wednesday that the Division I board of directors give student-athletes impacted by the coronavirus pandemic an extension of their five-year period of eligibility and an additional season of competition if they participate in 50% or less of the maximum number of competitions allowed in each sport under NCAA rules.
Big South postpones fall sports: The Big South Conference became the latest FCS football league to postpone its fall sports seasons on Wednesday, with the intent of playing in the spring, leaving three of the 13 FCS conferences with plans to play football and other sports this fall.
Big East fall sports postponed: The Big East announced that its fall sports — men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country, volleyball and field hockey — won’t be contested because of coronavirus concerns.
Horizon League postpones fall sports due to virus: The Horizon League has joined the list of conferences postponing all fall sports competition due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tuesday, Aug. 11: Big Ten Conference presidents and chancellors voted Tuesday to postpone all fall sports seasons, including football, amid the coronavirus pandemic with the hopes of playing in the spring.
Pac-12 postpones sports through end of year: The Pac-12 CEO group voted unanimously Tuesday to postpone all sports, including football and basketball, through the end of the year.
ACC, SEC say football plans remain unchanged: The ACC and SEC have not altered their plans to play a fall season despite decisions to postpone by the Big Ten and Pac-12 on Tuesday.
Monday, Aug. 10: The Mountain West is postponing its fall sports season because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the conference announced on Monday.
Heart issue drives Power 5 concern: A rare heart condition that could be linked with the coronavirus is fueling concern among Power 5 conference administrators about the viability of college sports this fall.
Saturday, Aug. 8: The Mid-American Conference became the first FBS conference to postpone its fall football season. A spring season is now possible for the MAC but no decision has been made.
FCS postpones playoffs: The FCS announced that it will not be holding playoffs this fall despite some teams aiming to play a regular season. The subdivision has fallen short of the 50% team participation required for the playoffs. The FCS may also move its season to the spring of 2021.
MVC moves to a spring season: The Missouri Valley Conference opted to move its football season to the spring due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The news came on the heels of the FCS postponement of the playoffs this fall.
Thursday, Aug. 6: The ACC released its full football schedule on Thursday, with Notre Dame hosting Duke in Week 1 on Sept. 12 in a unique setup that will feature the Irish playing a league slate for the first time.
Wednesday, Aug. 5: UConn, which last month officially left the American Athletic Conference, announced Wednesday that it’s suspending its football program for the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
NCAA Division III fall championships canceled: The NCAA Division III fall sports championships have been canceled for the 2020-21 season, the NCAA announced Wednesday, citing “the COVID-19 pandemic and related administrative and financial challenges.”
Sun Belt approves football schedule: The Sun Belt has approved a football schedule that includes eight league games and up to four non-league games, set to begin Labor Day weekend and possibly sooner.
Desmond Howard and Heather Dinich understand Lincoln Riley’s approach in regards to keeping positive COVID-19 tests private, but agree that a pandemic should take priority over competition.
Thursday, July 30: The Southeastern Conference will play a 10-game, conference-only schedule in the upcoming football season, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.
Wednesday, July 29: The Big West Conference is postponing all fall sports through the end of the calendar year. The conference will determine later if conducting fall sports in the spring would be feasible.
Summit League delaying fall sports start: The Summit League is pushing back the start of fall sports to Sept. 23 because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Soccer and volleyball will play conference-only schedules.
MAAC cancels fall sports: The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has decided to cancel fall sports competition due to continuing health and safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. A decision on whether fall sports competition would be feasible in the spring will be determined by the conference presidents at a later date.
Ohio Valley postpones some sports: The Ohio Valley Conference has postponed the start of competition for fall Olympic sports until Sept. 17, and the league also plans to compete in conference only for women’s soccer and volleyball.
A-10 postpones fall sports: The Atlantic 10 announced the postponement of all fall sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. The conference is yet to make an announcement on winter sports.
Colonial Athletic cancels season: The Colonial Athletic Association has canceled its football season. The 12 teams in the conference will be allowed to pursue independent schedules, however.
MEAC suspends all fall sports for indefinite period: The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference has suspended all fall sports indefinitely because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but hasn’t determined whether the fall schedules will be moved to the 2021 spring semester, the league announced on Thursday.
NCAA eases bowl eligibility rules: College football teams can count two games against qualifying FCS teams toward bowl eligibility during the upcoming season, the NCAA’s Division I Council announced Wednesday.
Monday, July 13: The Patriot League will not play sports in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Military Academy and Naval Academy are exempt from the cancellation, and any decisions on their participation in competitive sports will be made by their superintendents.
NJCAA OKs move to spring football season: The National Junior College Athletic Association on Monday approved a proposal to move its football season to the spring, according to Dr. Christopher Parker, the NJCAA president and CEO.
Wednesday, July 8: The Ivy League has ruled out playing all sports this fall, executive director Robin Harris told ESPN on Wednesday, marking the first major college decision about the status of fall sports amid the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 impact: How do schools plan, test, recruit and stay afloat?play
Kirk Herbstreit, Rod Gilmore, Minnesota WR Rashod Bateman and Dr. Todd Ellerin discuss how safe college football will be in 2020 and if a spring season is realistic.
Coaches confidential: Which teams can best handle the pandemic, plus who could make their CFP debut? In a season unlike any other, we asked FBS head coaches and assistants which teams are best prepared — and which will succeed — despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Read
The one constant in this uncertain sports world: We are still college football fans: Ryan McGee knows this isn’t going to be a “normal” season. But his message to fans is simple: College football is being played, and fans should take whatever they can get whenever they can get it. Read
How to remake an entire college football schedule in just one month: If ever you wanted insight into college football scheduling complications during a pandemic, look no further than the “wild and woolly” process it took BYU to get to its first game. Read
Electronic whistles, sanitized footballs and, yes, masks: Inside college football’s new look: Players, coaches and fans knew this college football season was going to be different. But how different will it actually be? Officials, equipment managers and coaches tell us what to expect on the field. Read
What does a split college football season mean for the playoff, bowl games and the Heisman? Will there be two playoffs? How will the bowls work? And can they really give out a Heisman Trophy before the Big Ten and Pac-12 play? Here’s what we know as of now. Read
Mapping college football crowds and COVID risk: As college football returns amid the coronavirus pandemic, some schools will still allow fans in a limited capacity. What does cellphone data from three big games last year tell us about how fans spread out across a region following a game? Read
Inside the Big Ten’s two weeks of discontent: ‘Everyone is furious’: Since the Big Ten announced it was postponing its fall season on Aug. 11, coaches, players and parents have pointed their frustration toward new commissioner Kevin Warren. But is the criticism deserved? We take an inside look at a tumultuous few weeks. Read
Heartbreak, confusion, anger: The harsh reality for many college football players: With so many conferences postponing their season, the truth is, many players might never put on a college football uniform again. Read
How college football is impacted by the recruiting dead period: College football recruiting hasn’t stopped amid the coronavirus pandemic, but it has impacted the sport significantly. Read
The inside story of college football’s wildest week ever: As two Power 5 conferences postponed their fall seasons, chaos reigned. Players and coaches pleaded their cases. Health experts delivered dissenting advice. Politicians weighed in. In the end, we got a week we’ll never forget. Read
What a spring college football season could — and should — look like: Whether or not you like the idea of spring college football, the logistics can work … if conferences show the foresight and cooperation they’ve lacked over the five months since the coronavirus pandemic altered the sports calendar. Read
Can college basketball avoid a repeat of college football’s calamity?: Which of the hurdles that derailed the 2020 college football season will have to be solved for men’s and women’s college basketball to be played in 2020-21? Read
College basketball coaches wait for next shoe to drop: The Ivy League will not be back on the court until December, at the earliest. Coaches throughout men’s college basketball wonder if similar pandemic-influenced decisions are coming for their leagues. Read
College recruiting challenges during the coronavirus pandemic: With the state of college football and basketball in limbo, coaches and recruits across the country have had to find new ways to go about age-old practices during the spring. Read
College Football Playoffplay
Paul Finebaum and Ryan Clark discuss whether the CFP can crown a legitimate champion if the season goes forward with only three of the Power 5 conferences.
CFP officials have said they are moving forward with a plan to still have a playoff as scheduled. Here is the latest news:
Schools that have cut pay, programs, staffplay
Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir breaks down what went into the difficult decision to cut 11 varsity sports.
A day after the University of Cincinnati announced it would permanently cut its men’s soccer program, a letter from five conference commissioners to NCAA president Emmert asked, in part, for the NCAA to lift rules that require Division I schools to sponsor at least 16 varsity sports.
Here are other programs that have disbanded, plus schools that have made staffing changes and pay cuts:
Minnesota, Wisconsin thrown for losses in sports budget crunch
Cincinnati drops men’s soccer program amid “widespread uncertainty”
Old Dominion cuts wrestling, citing financial impact of coronavirus
Louisville furloughs 45 athletic department staffers, others take 4% pay cut
Boise State coaches, athletics staff to be furloughed
Colorado athletic director, three head coaches to take 10% pay cuts
Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck confirms taking unpaid week
Syracuse coaches Jim Boeheim, Dino Babers take voluntary pay cuts
Rutgers athletic director, three highest-paid coaches taking pay cuts
Kansas’ Les Miles, Bill Self, Jeff Long take salary cuts
Texas Tech to trim $7 million from athletic budget
Kansas State football, men’s hoops coaches agree to salary reduction
Arizona’s Sean Miller, Kevin Sumlin among coaches taking 20% pay cut
Report: Florida International AD defers year’s salary amid furloughs
Akron to eliminate three sports in cost-cutting move
Furman eliminates baseball, men’s lacrosse
Central Michigan stops track amid coronavirus pandemic
South Carolina football, basketball coaches among those taking 10% pay cut
East Carolina eliminates swimming and diving, tennis programs
Kansas athletic department to impose furloughs, pay cuts
Bowling Green reinstates baseball program after donors pledge $1.5M
Wright State drops softball and tennis programs
Central Michigan gets 2-year waiver to have just five men’s teams
Winthrop cuts men’s and women’s tennis programs
Div. III Bowdoin, UMass Boston cancel fall sports during pandemic
UConn Huskies eliminate four teams to reduce sports to 18
Nebraska cutting 10% of 2021 athletic budget because of coronavirus
Northern Colorado discontinuing men’s, women’s tennis
Washington cuts athletic budget by 15% for 2020-21
Iowa athletic department reduces budget by $15 million
Division III Grinnell cancels football, fall sports
Boise State cutting baseball, swimming and diving
Division III’s Centennial Conference suspends fall sports
Houston cutting budgets of all 17 of its teams by 5 percent
Dartmouth cuts five sports effective immediately
CIAA, SIAC suspend fall sports, may move some to spring
Florida State to cut athletics budget by 20%, both coaches and AD taking salary reductions
Michigan coaches Jim Harbaugh, Juwan Howard to take 10% pay cut amid revenue losses
Stanford to cut 11 varsity sports, cites pandemic as breaking point
Alabama cutting costs in all sports with pandemic threatening fall season
George Washington to drop 7 sports in cost-cutting measure
Purdue coaches, AD taking pay cuts as athletic department faces shortfall
Texas Tech cutting jobs, pay amid coronavirus pandemic
Michigan, Texas eliminate jobs, cut salaries
NCAA to furlough staff for 3-8 weeks to cut costs, memo says
Utah to issue furloughs for entire athletic department
Washington State to cut 10 jobs, reduce coaches’ pay