Sources: “Only a Matter of Time Before the NAIA Football Season Is Cancelled”

Raining on the Parade.

After speaking with, emailing and text messaging several sources within the NAIA community, it has been stated that it’s “only a matter of time before the season is cancelled.”

This information does not come from the NAIA national office. Rather from some of my closely guarded sources within the NAIA’s institutions. The NAIA will not cancel the season until it is clear their threshold of 47 participants cannot be met.

The general consensus the season will be cancelled comes from the inability of NAIA schools to reach the criteria needed to participate along with local government regulations for COVID 19. Last week, the NAIA published guidelines for return to play this fall. For those who didn’t read it the bullet points to consider are this:

  • 47 of the 95 teams have to declare they will play in order for the season to happen by August 15th.
  • August 15th is the first day teams can report, no games until September 12th
  • No more than 9 games.
  • There will be screening protocols, testing protocols and notice to opponents of safety preparations and all of the stuff you would generally think to happen in the world of COVID.

There are a myriad of items that will prevent the NAIA from having a fall 2020 season at the local level. The specifics stated by my sources include:

  • Local/State government regulations to prevent the spread of COVID 19 causing colleges and universities to have no in-person classes or events.
  • Institutional policies which will prevent students from being on campus this fall.
  • The inability to prevent students from infecting teammates, classmates, coaches and other members of an NAIA institution.
  • The inability to regulate off campus arrangements with housing, practice facilities and game facilities.
  • Local issues with testing results and getting tests for healthy student athletes over “essential workers” who are required to be tested.

The list goes on and on. I picked a hell of a time to come back into the world of being a college football writer in the NAIA. The last thing I want to see is the 2020 season go ass over tea kettle. But right now, it appears we will have no football in the NAIA. . . or at any college level this fall.

It’s highly likely the season will be delayed until the spring of 2021 at this point. The biggest sticking point being whether or not a vaccine will be ready by that time.

There’s nothing more I want than my sources to be wrong. The NCAA dominoes will start to fall when the Ivy League officially makes their decision on whether or not they will play fall sports. This will trickle down to the NAIA schools and conferences making their announcements.

Here’s to hoping I’m wrong!

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