NCAA COVID-19 rules could leave us with no champ
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s been the story of our lives the last few years; Find a way to live with COVID-19 and make things work.
Sports have provided a much-needed distraction but have also suffered cancellations and postponements because of the coronavirus. But imagine playing an entire college football season, getting down to the final championship game, and then not having a national champ. With the new rules, it’s possible.
In December, the College Football Playoff announced new COVID-19 policies. We’re down to Alabama and Georgia, who are set to play Monday, Jan. 10. If one team cannot play because of a Covid outbreak, the game can be moved back as far as Jan. 14. If we get to that date and one team still can’t play, that team will be forced to forfeit and the national title will go to the team that could have played.
Now, if both teams have Covid outbreaks and neither team can play by Jan. 14, the game will be declared a no contest, and there will be no national champ this year.
Some changes have been made to keep the players and coaches as safe as possible. So, what changes have been made for the players? The game is at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This year teams don’t have to arrive until two days before kickoff. It’s usually five days. We’ve learned Alabama will arrive Friday three days before kickoff. Attendance for bowl events before the game will be optional for the athletes, cheerleaders, band, and staff members. All news conferences with coaches and players will be virtual and Non-essential personnel will not have access to the field and sidelines pre-and post-game.
Both teams have most players vaccinated. A few weeks ago, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said more than 90 percent of his team is vaccinated and received a booster shot. Before the season started, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said that 85% of the Bulldogs were fully vaccinated, and all players were offered a booster shot before heading home for Christmas break.
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