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Northwestern AD: There’s absolutely a possibility CFB may not happen in the fall

Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips is one of the most respected administrators in the country. When he speaks, others tend to listen closely.

Like many nowadays, Phillips life has turned on a dime to sort out issues stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. One hot topic being discussed far and wide is how college football could possibly be played this fall. Numerous scenarios are already being bandied about but the Wildcats AD told WBBM in Chicago that even the most drastic of options is on the table.

“There’s absolutely a possibility it may not happen — or any of our fall sports,” Phillips said. “Maybe we’ll play 12 games, maybe you won’t be able to play any. Maybe there’s a reduced schedule you can have. Everybody’s trying to figure this out as we go along.”

“There will be a college football season only if and when the medical experts, CDC, state regional and national leaders declare it to be safe. And it won’t be made by a football coach, an athletic director or a university president.”

A number of coaches, AD’s and media members have pushed back against the idea of no football this year. Chiefly this is due to the financial concerns given how revenues on the gridiron support nearly everything in an athletic department.

Phillips is expecting as much as a $7 million hit to NU’s bottom line from the cancelation of spring sports alone. Even with huge revenues from the Big Ten rolling in on a yearly basis, that is still bound to have quite the spillover effect on things down the road.

It’s still too early in the COVID-19 outbreak to make any concrete conclusions on the 2020 college football season. We’ve seen a number of scenarios thrown out there but as Phillips notes, the decision is largely out of the hands of those running the sport right now.