Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp said Wednesday that officials believe a 13-game college football schedule would be possible even if the start of the season was delayed until October because of the new coronavirus.
The season is scheduled to begin with seven FBS games Aug. 29 before the majority of teams open the following week.
Speaking in a live video discussion with the Texas Tribune, Sharp addressed the football season in answering a question about the university system’s lost revenue because of college sporting events which have been canceled because of the COVID-19 virus.
Sharp said he’s gotten many questions about football and whether it will return on time this season, if at all.
“In some conversations with SEC officials and NCAA, I think they’ve come to the conclusion that you can probably start football as late as October and still have a 13-game schedule,” Sharp said.
Sharp then added that there are many unknowns about football season because of the pandemic that has killed thousands and shut down sports across the globe.
“We don’t know when this thing is going to end,” he said. “We don’t know when this is going to happen. For all we know, we may have football where we have coaches and players and referees on a field with a TV camera and nobody in the stadium. We don’t know.”
SEC spokesman Herb Vincent said he was not familiar with the conversations Sharp referred to, but addressed the league’s hopes for the upcoming season.
“Our focus is on preparing to play the season as scheduled,” Vincent said in an email to The Associated Press. “As we have done in recent weeks, using the best available information from public health officials, at an appropriate time we will make decisions about the future.”
The NCAA didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment about Sharp’s remarks.