College Athletic Conferences Make Final Call on Fall Seasons

College Athletic Conferences Make Final Call on Fall Seasons
Izzy Hall

Earlier this summer, the Big Ten Conference announced they would be playing only in-conference football games if the Fall 2020 football season went ahead. But last week, they and the Pac-12 conference both announced that Fall 2020 athletics would be cancelled due to concerns about student athlete safety. Meanwhile, their brethren Power 5 conferences to the South – The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences – have decided to go ahead with the Fall 2020 football season.

Currently, the majority of college football conferences have decided to cancel the fall 2020 season, leaving the three southern conferences as the only ones scheduled to play in the Football Champion Series division. These college athletic conferences also have cancelled other fall sports, like track and field, soccer and field hockey. Some conferences have also cancelled winter and spring sports; others will wait to decide on further season cancellations.

For student athletes no longer competing this Fall 2020 semester, what does this mean for their scholarships? Currently, the NCAA has ruled that students who do not play this season must have their athletic scholarships honored by their institution, but has not issued further guidance in light of conference cancellations. The Pac-12, in their announcement, confirm that student athletes will continue to have their scholarships honored, and that they will receive all the university support that they would normally have during a season. The Big Ten as an organization has not set an official ruling on scholarships for athletes, but member schools like Ohio State and University of Wisconsin have announced their student athletes will remain on scholarship.

In addition to college athletes being able to safeguard their athletic scholarships amid the coronavirus pandemic, student-athletes may soon be able to market their name, image, and likeness with minimal restrictions with the introduction of a “College Athletes Bill of Rights.” The bill of rights, if passed, would prevent the NCAA from “restricting or regulating athletic compensation” and give players “a meaningful voice and level the playing field by establishing baseline rules that govern college sports.” Additional benefits include lifetime athletic scholarships, increased college financial assistance, new safety and wellness standards, and improved healthcare. The bill would also end the requirement that athletes sit out if they change schools or withdraw from a National Letter of Intent, according to USA Today.

Despite the uncertainty looming in the collegiate sports arena, new doors are opening for current and future collegiate athletes – allowing them a chance to experience a never-before-seen opportunity in lucratively capitalizing on their athletic abilities. If you are a dedicated high school or current collegiate athlete seeking to get paid to play, try a free scholarship search today and discover a variety of scholarships for athletes of all sporting abilities.

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