Mark Emmert: NCAA Can’t Currently Hold Fall Championships

NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke on Andy Katz’ “Inside the NCAA” Thursday afternoon and shared that, at this point, championships can’t be held for fall sports this year.

While an official decision hasn’t been made, Emmert stated that “legitimate” championships can’t be held this fall because there will be so few teams participating. FBS football currently remains as the only sport that could possibly hold national championship games.

“We cannot now, at this point, have fall NCAA championships because there’s not enough schools participating. The Board of Governors also said if you don’t have half of the schools playing a sport, you can’t have a legitimate championship,” Emmert said.

Penn State football, women’s volleyball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country were all affected by the Big Ten’s decision to postpone fall sports Tuesday. Emmert explained that fall sports such as those may have an opportunity to hold their championships in the spring, but winter and spring sports will be given priority so they can finish their seasons.

“There are ways to do this,” Emmert said. “I’m completely confident that we can figure this out. If schools and conferences want to move forward — more than half of them want to do it — then let’s do it.”

In terms of large tournaments or playoffs, Emmert remains open to the idea of a “bubble” or “semi-bubble” system for fall student-athletes at a later date.

“Will it be normal? Of course not,” Emmert said. “Will it create other conflicts and challenges, of course. But it is doable.”

As for Penn State and the Big Ten, the conference explained in its announcement that it is evaluating “a number of options” for fall sports. The Big Ten said it remains open to competing in the spring, as it became the first Power Five conferences to shut down its seasons on Tuesday.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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