NCAA President Mark Emmert announced collegiate sports will not resume in the fall if campuses remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Mark Emmert plainly said Friday night the NCAA will not play fall sports if the coronavirus pandemic forces schools to close campuses in the coming months.
“College athletes are college students, and you can’t have college sports if you don’t have college [campuses] open and having students on them,” Emmert said in an interview posted on the NCAA’s Twitter account. “You don’t want to ever put student-athletes at greater risk than the rest of the student body.”
Individual conferences within the NCAA have been conflicted about whether to restart sports in the fall if closes are only held online.
The Big East commissioner Val Ackerman announced fall sports would not be played if on-campus classes are not allowed. In contrast, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby athletics could resume in the fall if classes were only taken online, according to the New York Post.
Ackerman also said college presidents have given a deadline of late June or early July to decide whether to play fall sports and a potential deadline of Sept. 1 for winter sports.
Emmert emphasized Friday, campus conditions must be safe to allow students to return.
“That doesn’t mean [schools have] to be up and running in the full normal model, but you’ve got to treat the health and well-being of the athletes at least as much as the regular students,” Emmert said. “So, if a school doesn’t reopen, then they’re not going to be playing sports. It’s really that simple.”
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