NCAA president Mark Emmert said on Thursday there won’t be fall NCAA championships because there’s not enough schools participating because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — a decision that impacts 22 championships, including FCS football.
“The Board of Governors also established if you don’t have half of the schools playing a sport, you can’t have a legitimate championship,” Emmert said in a video posted on the NCAA’s Twitter feed. “We can’t in any Division I NCAA championship sport now — which is everything other than FBS football that goes on in the fall. Sadly, tragically, that’s going to be the case this fall, full stop.”
The number of schools fell below 50% on Wednesday when the Big East announced its fall sports wouldn’t be played. Emmert said the fall sports should still turn to the winter and spring and try to create a legitimate championship for all of those students.
“My staff has been working hard on it, and talking to a lot of commissioners — all of them, all 32 of them in DI, and there are ways to do this,” he said. “I’m completely confident that we can figure this out. If schools and conferences want to move forward, and try and have it and more than half of them want to do it — and that’s surely the indication now — then let’s do it. We can use the fall and keep kids healthy, keep them engaged with their coaches and their athletic departments. Focus on their academic success. Work with them and let them practice and stay ready to play, then let’s go compete at that time.”