Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said colleges should continue trying to find ways to have a college football season that would protect player health in the coronavirus pandemic.
“I defer to the position of the college football players. What I see from the college football players, they really want to play,” Abbott said Monday night. “It’s their careers, it’s their health.”
Texas is home to five Power Five conference schools in the Big 12 and SEC, and several other major college programs.
“I think schools should work with (players) on protocols to make sure their health can be maintained and secured and allow them to play. Once they are able to establish that, we can work out how many people to let in the stands to watch.”
A Republican, Abbott pushed Texas toward one of the nation’s quickest reopenings of the state economy in May, only to dial it back when COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths rapidly increased. New cases and hospitalizations have stabilized and decreased, but coronavirus deaths in Texas have reached nearly 8,500.
The state’s rolling positivity rate has rapidly increased to nearly 20 percent, nearly double its rate of just over a week ago.
The Mountain West has become the second FBS conference to postpone its football season, punting on the fall with an eye toward playing in the spring.
The Mountain West’s decision comes less than a week after it announced plans to play an eight-game conference football season and allow its members to pursue two nonconference games.
Now the 12-team Mountain West, which includes Boise State, Air Force and San Diego State, joins the Mid-American Conference as leagues from the highest tier of NCAA Division I football to bail on the fall season and hope to make a go of it in the spring.
The University of Virginia says no student-athletes tested positive for the coronavirus last week. The school has had four positive results since fall programs returned to preseason training.
The school says a total of 238 athletes were tested for COVID-19. There have been no positive results since a report was issued on July 24.
None of those that tested positive required hospitalization, and those with the positive results were instructed to self-isolate for 10 days or until they did not register a fever for three consecutive days. Those deemed to have been in close contact also were asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey has weighed in on the powerhouse league’s situation regarding a decision on the football season.
Sankey posted on Twitter he doesn’t know if college football can be played during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the best advice he has received since the pandemic started was to be patient in making decisions. “This is all new & you’ll gain better information each day,” Sankey posted.
“We know concerns remain,” Sankey said. “We have never had a FB season in a COVID-19 environment. Can we play? I don’t know. We haven’t stopped trying. We support, educate and care for student-athletes every day, and will continue to do so...every day.”
The College of Charleston is suspending all sports competition for the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The South Carolina school, a member of the Division I Colonial Athletic Association, said Monday the move would affect full-time fall sports like men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country and volleyball. It also would affect teams with year-round schedules like men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, equestrian and sailing. Those teams would not compete during the fall.
The school said all athletes would continue training in anticipation of spring competition. Its winter and spring sports teams are still on track to compete when those seasons are scheduled.
Charleston athletic director Matt Roberts said the school suspended fall sports for the safety and well-being of its athletes, coaches and staffers.