NCAA delays decision on fall sports championships until at least August; FBS conferences breathe a sigh of relief — for now


FBS programs, particularly those in the Power Five, got exactly what they wanted from the NCAA.  For now, at least.

The NCAA Board of Governors, as expected, held a meeting Friday.  Last week, the football oversight committee sent a letter asking the ultimate decision-makers to avoid making one on whether to conduct fall championships as college sports tries to find a path to play through the pandemic.  While not directly impacting the highest level of college football — the NCAA has no oversight on the postseason, including playoffs — nixing of the championships in other fall sports would’ve put pressure on Power Fives, in particular, to cancel their seasons as well.

Friday, though, the NCAA announced that it will not postpone championships for any fall sports.  Instead, the discussions will continue on into August.

Below is a statement attributed to NCAA president Mark Emmert.

Today the Board of Governors and I agreed that we must continue to thoughtfully and aggressively monitor health conditions around the country and the implementation of the COVID-19 guidelines we issued last week.

The health and well-being of college athletes is the highest priority in deciding whether to proceed with our 22 NCAA championships beginning in late November.  We all remain deeply concerned about the infection trend lines we see.  It is clear that the format of our championships will have to change if they are to be conducted in a safe and fair manner.

We discussed other complexities in addition to the health and safety impacts, to include team availability, travel limitations and various local and state restrictions.  We will continue our discussions in August.

The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Governors is set for Aug. 4.  By that time, most of the Power Fives, with perhaps the exception of the Big 12, will have made some type of scheduling decisions.  In fact, the Big Ten and Pac-12 have already gone to conference-only schedules.  The ACC and SEC are expected to unveil their plans at some point next week.

Utah State player upgraded to fair condition after collapse

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Utah State redshirt freshman wide receiver Josh Davis is in fair condition on Friday, one day after collapsing at spring football practice following sudden cardiac arrest, the university announced.

Davis, initially was listed in critical condition, was breathing on his own. He is in the intensive-care unit at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.

Davis’ parents arrived in Utah on Thursday evening.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Davis, who is from Carlsbad, California, collapsed at Merlin Olsen Field and was immediately treated by the training staff, the university said. He was taken to Logan Regional Hospital.

The university said Davis was stabilized in the Logan hospital before being moved to Ogden.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.