NCAA football oversight asks board for time on fall sports

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Photo credit FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020, file photo, LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson (2) is tackled by Clemson during the first half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in New Orleans. The NCAA's latest guidance for playing college sports during the COVID-19 pandemic recommends testing players once a week within 72 hours of competition. For typical Saturday football games, that means Wednesday would be the soonest athletes would be tested. Is that enough for a team of about 100 athletes playing a contact sport to get through a season without major disruptions? Especially, considering simply being exposed to someone who tests positive can land an athlete in quarantine for two weeks? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The NCAA football oversight committee is asking the association’s Board of Governors to avoid making a decision later this week on whether to conduct fall championships as college sports tries to find a path to play through the pandemic.

A letter dated July 21 was sent by committee chairman Shane Lyons, the West Virginia athletic director, to the board before it meets on Friday. The letter was obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press and first reported on by Yahoo Sports.

“We acknowledge that the path forward will be challenging, and that the virus may ultimately dictate outcomes,” the letter says. “We are simply requesting that the Board of Governors not make an immediate decision on the outcome of fall championships, so that conferences and schools may have ample latitude to continue to evaluate the viability of playing football this fall.”

The board is the NCAA's highest-ranking governing body, comprised mostly of university presidents representing all three divisions of its nearly 1,300 member schools. The board could decide to call off NCAA championship events in fall sports such as soccer, women’s volleyball and lower-division football.

The NCAA has no authority to postpone or cancel specific seasons, a decision that would be up to individual schools or their conferences. But canceling or postponing NCAA championships could increase pressure for conferences to call off their seasons.