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Stuve: An abbreviated schedule may be necessary for college sports in the next academic year



Here come the cyclones! The Iowa State football team takes the field against the University of Texas on Nov. 16. Iowa State won 23-21.



The Iowa State Cyclones, like every other NCAA school, saw the majority of its conference and all of the NCAA tournaments they qualified for get canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID-19 still prevalent in the United States and Iowa, it may be too early to tell if Iowa State and other NCAA schools will have a full schedule of games this fall, shall the number of cases increase or should another spike happen.

An abbreviated schedule may be the only option for the NCAA to consider if they want to play a season at all. It all depends on the virus and if the virus is well-contained.

Since the cancellations of major sporting events began in March, many people in the college sports world have pondered what will happen in the fall with college sports.

Another sports organization making changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic is the NCAA’s Mid-American Conference.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced that beginning in the 2020-21 academic year, conference tournaments for eight sports would be nixed and 10 sports will go through postseason adjustments. 

The MAC may be one of many conferences that could go this route, as this model might be followed nationwide for the 2020-2021 season. 

NCAA President Mark Emmert told USA Today, “We’ll have to have abbreviated seasons, probably, in some cases. And we may even have to move our championship schedules around for the fall and perhaps even into the winter, but we’re not going to compromise health and well-being.”

If more conferences go this route, it could affect Iowa State. If schools Iowa State is scheduled to face in the nonconference decide it is not safe to play sports, it will leave a void in Iowa State’s schedule. 

An abbreviated schedule could eliminate nonconference games, unless the two schools are in-state rivals. 

An abbreviated schedule is something that may happen at the college level. Still, it will most certainly happen if any professional sports leagues are going to be playing games anytime soon.

On May 11, the New York Times reported that Major League Baseball (MLB) proposed an 82-game schedule (162 games are played in a normal season) beginning in early July. 

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks about whether they will try to finish the 2019-2020 season. 

While a lot of sports teams and organizations haven’t made decisions on fall and winter sports yet, some have and it could affect the rest of the country. 

The California State University system announced on May 11 that all public California colleges are going to have most of their classes online for the fall semester. 

This could lead to sports games, if they are going to be played, being played without fans in California and maybe other states if they follow suit. 

While this isn’t a good sign for the fans of California college sports teams, it isn’t something that eliminates the possibility of college sports being played this fall. 

While the California State University system and the MAC are two of many college organizations in the country, their decisions could lead to others doing the same if they deem it necessary for the health and safety of everyone. 

Athletic departments have started to lay out plans to bring athletes back to campus in a safe manner. 

One of said colleges is Iowa State, which has had encouraging results in its plan. However, it is still early in the process of its plan and the city of Ames is considered to be a hot spot. 



Then-sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy gets ready on the sideline after breaking numerous Iowa State football records against the University of Kansas. Iowa State won 41-31 on Nov. 23.




The USA Today reported on Thursday what Iowa State’s quest to get its student-athletes on campus looks like for now. 

It should be noted that the plan is subject to change depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in Iowa. 

If universities’ plan’s like Iowa State’s work in keeping everyone safe, then the likelihood of college sports going on as scheduled or with only a little delay will increase, but may not stop schools from having to go to an abbreviated schedule.  

Source: Iowa State Daily