University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel made it clear that if students are not allowed back on campus this fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then football games won’t take place.
“If there is no on-campus instruction then there won’t be intercollegiate athletics, at least for Michigan,” Schlissel told the Wall Street Journal.
Schlissel said there is “some degree of doubt” if any college sports will be played in the fall.
But Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard thinks football will return.
“First, we fully anticipate playing football this fall,” Pollard wrote Monday in letter to fans posted on the athletic department website. “In order to do that, we have to overcome several initial hurdles (i.e., getting the players safely back on campus, officially starting team activities, conducting preseason practice, etc.) before we can truly start to assess this fall’s season. As of today, we fully anticipate playing football in Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 5.”
Pollard said one big change will be seen in the stands. The Cyclones plan to limit capacity to roughly 50 percent at Jack Trice Stadium, based on “current guidelines established by state and local officials.”
That means the Cyclones will have 30,000 fans at each game, but the school doesn’t expect to sell single-game tickets unless safety guidelines change.
Pollard expects to restrict entrance to the games to season ticket holders. So far, 22,000 season tickets have been renewed, Pollard said.
“The only fans who will have the opportunity to be in the stadium this fall are those who renew their season tickets and their required Cyclone Club donation (if applicable) by June 12, 2020,” Pollard wrote.
Iowa State will allow season ticket holders who don’t renew for the 2020 season because of safety concerns or financial issues to have first rights on their seats for the 2021 season.
Also, anyone who does renew but decides for safety reasons not to attend the games may request a refund.
“After consulting with campus officials, we have concluded there is no reasonable way to guarantee that no one will contract the COVID-19 virus,” Pollard wrote. “Trying to adhere to a standard of absolute protection is simply not reasonable. We would either be held accountable for being far too restrictive or, more likely, not restrictive enough.”