How do you know when a conference commissioner is bullshitting you? When another conference commissioner tells you ($$).
On April 15, the 10 conference commissioners and one athletic director who make up the College Football Playoff Management Committee held a call with Vice President Mike Pence. As Pence pressed the group on what it would take for them to allow college football to resume, the response from the committee was clear: no school, no games. “Our players are students,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said later that day. “If we’re not in college, we’re not having contests.”
That was one more piece of discouraging news for anxious fans who are hoping their teams might take the field this fall, even if no fans are allowed in the stadiums. Bowlsby’s comments gave the impression that unless campuses are open to all students, then sports will not take place.
As is often the case in these uncertain times, however, it is hard to state things in absolute terms. Follow-up interviews with six conference commissioners, including those from four of the Power 5 leagues, revealed that the scenarios under consideration are wider than the Pence call suggested. That offers the hope that games could in fact resume before campuses are completely open.
“I don’t think anyone said ‘all’ or ‘completely,’ ” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “I think the best way to say it is until our campuses start to open up, I don’t see student-athletes being invited back. I certainly don’t envision student-athletes being brought back exclusively.”
In other words, it depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘exclusively’ is. Bill Clinton would make an excellent conference commissioner, don’t you think?
They’re playing football. It’s a matter of when, not if.