Earlier today the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 (corona virus) a global pandemic. In the same day, the NCAA decided to “ban” fans from the basketball national championship games.
With everything happening so fast, CFB fans left wondering how it will affect their sport. Considering the novelty of the virus no one knows exactly how the outbreak will effect CFB. However, if the NCAA is willing to ban fans from March Madness there’s no doubt in my mind there will be an effect on CFB.
COVID-19’s Effect Already
Michigan is one of the first programs to be affected by the virus. The University of Michigan has canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester. More importantly (for us CFB fans), Michigan will also not be allowing coaches to conduct off-campus recruiting activities or host recruits on official or unofficial campus visits during this time period. In addition, the school is banning attendance at athletic events, that would convene 100 people or more from Thursday, March 12 until at least April 21. This means their Spring game – scheduled for April 18 – is on hold. In one foul swoop, recruiting took a massive hit.
Bruce Feldman was asking around on the issue. He found that the effect on recruiting will likely be up to conferences. I guess that’s good news because it should mitigate some teams having advantages over others. With that said, it looks like Michigan is at a disadvantage unless more Big 10 teams hop on the ban bandwagon..
COVID-19’s Effect In The Future
Michigan is the first CFB program to see the effect of the Virus but it won’t be the last. I wouldn’t be surprised if shortly after this gets published, there will be a number of teams with similar restrictions. At this point, it looks like the major impact will be on recruiting. Every day counts in recruiting and programs some programs are likely going to lose at least a month of spring recruiting. In addition, every team has a spring game and its usually a big recruiting event. Teams with major plans for their spring game – like Oklahoma unveiling a Heisman statue- will get hit the hardest. The lack of attendance at the spring games will also affect revenue for these programs. It might not be a huge impact but it will be a negative impact nonetheless.
Again, the effects of this virus are hard to project but I think its safe to assume the major effect will be on recruiting. At this point, we can only hope this doesn’t effect practices and the 2020 regular season. Considering how much time we have before the 2020 season, I’m optimistic this will get settled. In the mean time we will do our best to keep you updated on COVID-19’s effect on CFB.
***Keep in mind we are not doctors. We’ll tell you how the virus is affecting CFB but we will not and should not tell you how the virus is affecting you. We encourage you to listen to professionals – not talking heads – for how to protect yourself from the vrius. A good place to start is the World Health Organizations COVID-19 page..***