FIU Athletic Status In Jeopardy After Suspending Competition Into September

Indya Vassell/PantherNOW

Richard Gibson/Staff Writer

With the risk of COVID still high in South Florida, FIU has decided to delay all intercollegiate competitions through September 16th. This means all sports that require face-to-face competition with other schools will have to wait until after September 16th. 

For football, this means that FIU’s first two games between Jacksonville State and UCF will be postponed. FIU has not yet decided if they’ll make up those games at a later time, or if they’ll cancel them entirely. This doesn’t mean the entire season is canceled, but with other conferences dropping out early, it’s not a good sign.

Both the Big Ten and Pac-12, two of the biggest college football conferences in the NCAA, have decided to drop out of college football this year due to COVID concerns. Classic rivalries such as Ohio State vs Michigan and USC vs UCLA will have to be put on hold. Whether they’ll play in the spring is yet to be determined.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 will join other conferences that dropped football, such as the Ivy League and MAC. On top of that, most of Division II and III conferences have also canceled football for fall, with some promising to resume in the Spring.

The idea of opting out has begun to hit Conference USA, as Old Dominion has announced that they will cancel their season for fall. They’re the first team in Conference USA to drop out of the season, and FIU was set to play the Monarchs on September 19th in Norfolk, Virginia. 

With Old Dominion out, is the rest of Conference USA set to do the same? At the moment, the conference has not made any announcement about canceling the season, and all 14 teams aside from ODU are currently holding practices for their players and coaches. FIU is the only college to postpone games aside from canceling the season.

That said, Conference USA is a relatively small conference in the world of college football. The commissioners of the Power Five, which are the five biggest conferences in college football, are set to gather for an emergency meeting. The Power Five include the ACC, SEC, Big 12, PAC-12, and the Big Ten.

If these conferences were to cancel their seasons, where does that leave Conference USA? The conference isn’t forced to cancel due to the decisions of the Power Five, but the end game for college football is ultimately decided by the NCAA itself. 

The NCAA can cancel the entire football season for all teams and conferences if they so choose. With the Power Five meeting to discuss the idea of canceling the season, it seems more likely for the NCAA to decide to end the season for everyone. 

Many coaches and players have taken to social media to protest the idea of canceling the season, including the star quarterback of the Clemson Tigers, Trevor Lawrence. While the player’s voices are loud, it’s ultimately not their decision. The NCAA could cancel football tomorrow and that’s the final word.

Is it smart for the NCAA to play ball? Financially, yes. Their revenue in ratings and merchandise is more than enough to cancel out the loss in ticket sales. Last year, the Power Five made a combined $2.9 billion in revenue. Simply put, canceling the entire football season would lose billions of dollars for the NCAA. 

That said, if teams don’t take measures to follow safety guidelines, they will get infected. The truth can be traced to the MLB, with teams like the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals having to cancel games due to COVID outbreaks within the organizations. 

The best-proven way to play sports seems to be by playing in a single location in a “bubble”, where players and staff are forced to stay for the duration of the season. The NBA has played their games in Walt Disney World, and there have been little to no cases of the virus in the past few weeks. 

If every conference were to play in their own bubble, that would be ideal. However, at the moment, that’s not how the NCAA is playing it out. The normal method of traveling from city to city to play is too risky to work long-term.

It’s not just the NCAA, either. The NFL will also have to possibly deal with COVID cases, as they’re not using a bubble method, either. If the XFL plans to resume their football season, they’ll have to deal with these concerns as well.

For Conference USA, the season looks grim. FIU’s decision to delay intercollegiate athletics until September 16th looks to be a bad sign. The best way for the season to work will be for the NCAA to adapt. Whether they will or not has yet to be seen. One thing is certain- expectations shouldn’t be set too high for fall football.

Be the first to comment on "FIU Athletic Status In Jeopardy After Suspending Competition Into September"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.