GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) The coronavirus is changing many things this year, including the outlook on athletics. It poses a daunting question to players, coaches, university leaders and fans. Will their team be playing this Fall?
Several athletic conferences have already canceled Fall football, while others are hanging on to hopes of playing.
On Tuesday, two Power Five conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12 called it quits.
“It’s really disappointing. That’s something we always look forward to in the Fall and I know they are taking about having a Spring season, but, that’s way different that what we’re used to,” said Collin Krenz, College Football Fan.
It’s not an easy decision for conference and university leaders. They are basing cancellations on health and safety of not only the players, but the staff, fans and future of football itself.
“I understand that they are being safe and it’s better safe than sorry, but, we are all going to really miss college football,” said Krenz.
The SEC, ACC, and Big 12 round out the Power Five conferences. Their officials are hopeful about competing after adopting new health practices and guidelines for teams.
“I’m all for it as long as they’re taking the same safety precautions,” said Lindsey Yannoni, Freshman at East Carolina University.
ECU’s conference, the AAC, is on that same page.
In Greenville, Head Coach Mike Houston and the Pirates say they have the same goal as any other pre-season– getting set for game one.
“The kids are very enthusiastic and had a lot of energy. The one resounding thing that they voiced to me at the end of practice is they want to play,” explained Houston. “I told them, as long as that’s the consensus, than we are going to fight like hell to make sure that we’ve got a ball game here sometime in September.”
Houston’s hopes are based on his players’ safety. The minute that’s in jeopardy is when they pull the plug.
The American Athletic Conference plans to move forward with playing the Fall Season. For the sidelined conferences, there’s talk about a possible Spring season in the works.