On August 5, 2020, the NCAA Board of Governors kicked a can to a different street. They elected to not make any widespread decisions about fall sports in light of the ongoing five month long coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Instead, the BOG told each of the three divisions to make their own decisions on their own fall sports. Within hours, Division 2 and Division 3 shut everything down, but it’s been four-plus days now and Division 1 hasn’t done squat.
Obviously, the big reason here is that Division 1 includes the Power 5 college football conferences, and there’s a whole hell of a lot of money at stake if fall sports go out the door. Sure, officially the Bowl Championship Subdivision doesn’t have to listen to the NCAA as the College Football Playoff isn’t actually run by the NCAA. However, the schools that play FBS football can’t very well go ahead and cancel the non-football national championships — and thus the entire seasons for those sports — for health and safety reasons and then still tell the football teams to go on out there and expel droplets into the air for The Gipper.
One of the things that the NCAA did do, however, is create a deadline. First, all divisions must determine by August 21st if their championships will go on as scheduled. Second, if 50% of eligible teams in a sport cancel the fall season, then there can not be a fall sports national championship.
And so, we gather here today so I can pass along to you how close we are to those 50% triggers for the three Marquette team fall sports that we pay attention to here at Anonymous Eagle.
I took a run through the NCAA’s RPI lists to figure out how many teams are in each sport, as well as in each conference. I then grabbed a list of the nine conferences that have ended fall sports competition already: America East, Atlantic 10, Big West, Ivy League, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Patriot League, and SWAC. Some quick addition and division later, and we have our current standing percentages.
UPDATE [8/10/20]: The Mountain West has postponed fall sports, and so these numbers now reflect that.
UPDATE [8/11/20]: The Big Ten and the Pac-12 have postponed fall sports, and so these numbers now reflect that.
UPDATE [8/12/20]: The Big South has postponed fall sports, and so these numbers now reflect that.
UPDATE [8/12/20, 5:30pm CT]: The Big East has postponed fall sports, and so these numbers, now reflect that. Also, Fall Sports are now officially cancelled at Marquette, which was the point of this entire exercise.
UPDATE [8/13/20]: The Big Sky, Southland, and WAC have all ended fall competitions, and these numbers now reflect that
Men’s Soccer: 111 out of 206 teams are already out, or 53.9%
Women’s Soccer: 175 out of 338 teams are already out, or 51.8%
Women’s Volleyball: 176 out of 335 teams are already out, or 52.5%
As you can see, we’re already halfway there.
As I type this on Sunday, August 9 (and where were you people two hours ago when I started putting all of this info together), news is breaking very quickly on the Twitter machine that the Big Ten presidents are meeting to discuss fall sports plans. There’s more noise than ever that things are moving towards a resolution, specifically a cancellation resolution, on this issue. Odds are that the NCAA’s deadline and 50% trigger for fall sports championships has moved things along down the line. However, these things are not yet official, and so we wait.
Oh, and one more thing. The Final Four for the NCAA Division 1 women’s volleyball tournament is set for December 17-19. If the fall sports season goes, then you can expect non-conference action in basketball to be very quickly behind it, thus putting the rest of the basketball season very much at risk as well.