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Athletic directors are considering a wide variety of contingency plans for the 2020 football season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Holding the College Football Playoff in May or possibly June, dividing the regular season over the fall and spring semesters or reducing it to nine games, and allowing student-athletes back on campus to play games in empty stadiums are among the ideas being considered, according to interviews by Brett McMurphy of Stadium.
"Everything is on the table," Sun Belt commissioner Keith Gill said.
An AD for a Power Five school said the biggest issue for college football "is it's constantly a moving target on when we get the 'all-clear' signal."
Splitting the season between semesters would likely require missing some bowl games, one Power Five AD said, but it would mean the majority of the season could be played.
Starting the campaign in January or February and playing it past the NFL draft was described as "a last-gasp possibility" by McMurphy. This scenario would include holding the CFP semifinals in May and the national title game at the end of May or early June around the Memorial Day holiday.
"Would that be the preferred situation?" an AD asked. "Absolutely not, but the lights have to be kept on somehow."
Playing with no fans is arguably the most controversial option, but several ADs believe it could work with strict daily testing for COVID-19.
"As long as there's no health or safety issues, I would have no problem with student-athletes taking online courses on campus and being able to practice and play games with no fans," another Power Five AD said. "The university presidents would have to sign off on this - and a number of factors would have to be determined - but I think when the university presidents realize the financial impact that would come without having a football season, I think they would be more receptive."
With the season scheduled to begin Aug. 29, ADs across the United States have some time to figure out the best path moving forward as the COVID-19 crisis develops.