Big 12 Conference

Big 12’s Bob Bowlsby: There’s chance football games played without fans

Bob Bowlsby said Thursday during a teleconference there is a chance college football games this fall could be played in stadiums without fans.

On the day the NCAA said it will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June, a whopping $375 million less than had been budgeted after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the big-money men’s basketball tournament, the Big 12 commissioner talked about the financial situation for his conference and the future of college football.

Brett McMurphy reports Bowlsby said it is possible games will be played without fans, but “it’s hard to forecast those things.”

“We’re in unprecedented times,” Bowlsby said. “Just a week ago now, it seems like a lot longer, that we missed the first day of March Madness. The number of changes over the last week have been extraordinary.”

First and foremost, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bowlsby said the conference already has sustained $6.6 million loss due to the canceled basketball games in Kansas City.

While basketball is in the rearview mirror, it is the football season which has people nervous.

“I think it’s very unlikely that we’re going to have any spring games. We’re looking at a window for a return to activity that’s six or eight weeks,” Bowlsby said. “The month of May typically is a heavy lifting and training month. Then the athletes get some time off, and the coaches have camps and clinics. It may be that we can’t do any of that this year, so what do you do to get ready? I think that’s the part that we’re thinking about, what does that transition look like?”

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Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.

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