The Power 5 conferences have no sympathy for teams who cannot play matches due to COVID-19 during the 2021 college football season.
The 2020 season has been tumultuous, a season that has seen several games rescheduled (like Alabama-LSU) or canceled altogether (like Michigan-Ohio State) as the coronavirus crossed the country without a vaccine to speak of. A season later, the vaccine is widely available, which means teams will take on a lot more responsibility if they can’t play a game because of the virus.
This is reflected in each of the Power 5 conference’s confiscation and reprogramming guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic. While the 2020 season focused more on rescheduling matches and declaring ‘no competition’, the 2021 season will see many more forfeits if a team cannot play due to the coronavirus.
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Each of the Power 5 conferences seems to be lining up their positions as college football tries to get back to normal. That said, there are several discrepancies between the respective guidelines, including the ability to reschedule, team accountability, and financial penalties.
With that, Sporting News breaks down the Power 5 COVID-19 confiscation rules, talk by talk:
COVID-19 package rules per conference
Reprogramming available: No
The SEC is lining up with other Power 5 conferences to award forfeits to teams that cannot play a game “due to COVID-19, injury or other reasons.” He also joins the ACC in awarding forfeits to multiple teams if none of them can play an assigned match for the reasons mentioned:
“In the event that a team is unable to start or end a regular season conference event due to participant unavailability (due to COVID-19, injury or other reasons), that team will lose the competition and will be awarded a loss in the conference standings. The opposing team that is ready to play will be credited with a victory in the conference standings. Both teams will be deemed to have played and completed the match for the purposes of conference classification.
If the two teams cannot compete due to the unavailability of participants (due to COVID-19, injury or other reasons), both teams will be deemed to have forfeited, with a loss being awarded to both teams and applied to the conference ranking. . Both teams will be deemed to have played and completed the match for the purposes of conference classification. “
That said, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey can declare a non-competition “if extraordinary circumstances warrant.” Any team that suffers a financial loss due to an opponent’s inability to play could be reimbursed by the SEC, according to the league’s announcement (pending review by the conference executive committee:
Reprogramming available: Yes (if both teams cannot play)
The Big Ten will force any team that cannot play due to COVID-19 to forgo a contest, unless their opponent cannot play either, in which case the match would be considered a “no contest” if the match cannot be rescheduled. The conference has issued forfeiture guidelines for these two cases, and another in which games cannot be played that affect the conference’s ranking.
- Competition involving two teams. If a team is unable to participate in a scheduled conference competition due to COVID-19 and therefore the competition cannot take place on the calendar day it is scheduled, the competition will be considered a forfeit by the team unable to participate. and should not be reprogrammed. In this case, the team unable to participate will be awarded a âlossâ, their opponent a âwinâ and the conference standings will be adjusted accordingly.
- Competition involving two teams. If the two competing teams cannot participate in a scheduled conference competition due to COVID-19 and therefore the competition cannot take place on the calendar day it is scheduled and cannot be rescheduled, the competition will be considered a âno competitionâ.
- Competition involving three or more teams. If a team is unable to participate in a scheduled conference competition due to COVID-19 and the team’s performance in the competition impacts the conference standings, a team unable to participate in due to COVID-19 will be considered to have lost the competition. In such a case, a team unable to participate will be awarded a âlossâ, each of their opponents a âwinâ, and the conference standings will be adjusted accordingly. If the team’s performance in the competition has no impact on the conference ranking and / or the sport concerned is a sport in which there is no conference ranking, no further action will not be taken.
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Reprogramming available: No
The CCA has one of the most stringent COVID-19 rescheduling policies. Like other Power 5 conferences, a team found to be at fault for the cancellation of a match will be forfeited. Where the ACC differs from its counterparts is what happens when both teams are unable to play a game due to COVID: in this case, instead of a “no contest”, both teams will lose the competition.
- If a 2021 ACC match cannot be played on its originally scheduled date by a team unable to play due to an insufficient number of available players linked to COVID-19, that team will be deemed to have forfeited a loss. being awarded to the team unable to play and a victory awarded to its intended opponent, loss and victory, respectively, being applied to the conference standings.
- If a 2021 ACC match cannot be played on its originally scheduled date due to any factor directly associated with a match disruption consideration as listed in the current ACC Medical Advisory Group report ( MAG), the conference sports rescheduling policy will apply.
- If a 2021 ACC match cannot be played on its originally scheduled date due to the inability of both teams to play due to insufficient number of available players linked to COVID-19, both teams will be deemed to have forfeited, a loss being attributed to both. teams and applied to the conference standings.
Reprogramming available: No
The Pac-12 will declare any match that cannot be played as a forfeit for the offending team, with their opponent being awarded a victory.
Commissioner George Kliavkoff has sole discretion to determine whether a team is at fault, although the conference did not provide any guidance on how vaccines and revolutionary cases affect a team’s liability or what happens if both teams are unable to play. A two-thirds majority vote of an administrative committee is needed to overturn such a decision by Kliavkoff.
âAfter consultation with the Pac-12 Athletic Directors Committee, the Pac-12 determined that its long-standing match forfeiture rule (set out in the 2021-22 Pac-12 Administrative Policies referenced below), which has been temporarily modified for last season due to COVID-19, will be applied again for this next sports season. In accordance with this rule, if an institution is unable to compete in a competition through its fault, it confiscates this competition from its opponent.
Any game lost will be considered a conference loss for the forfeiting team and a conference victory for its opponent. Rule Pac-12 gives the Commissioner the discretion to determine whether an institution is at fault or primarily at fault for an inability to play a contest based on the facts of the situation.
Reprogramming available: No
The Big 12 has ruled that any team that cannot play due to COVID-19 will forfeit, except in cases where their opponent cannot field a team. In this case, the game will be considered a âno contestâ with no apparent possibility of rescheduling. In addition, packages can be declared at any time before the end of a competition, but preferably before the visit of the visiting team. Unbalanced tie-breaking rules will be used to determine conference standings and participants in Championship matches.
âThe Big 12 Conference has set its game threshold policy for the upcoming season. In the event that a conference game is canceled because a team does not have enough student-athletes to compete (due to COVID-19 or for whatever reason), that team will forfeit and be credited with a loss in the conference standings. The opponent will be credited with a victory in the conference standings. Both teams will be deemed to have played match for conference ranking purposes only.
A forfeit can be declared at any time before the end of a competition and, to the extent possible, it would occur before the visiting team begins its journey. In addition, if both teams are unable to compete, a no-contest would be declared and, if necessary, an unbalanced tiebreaker would be used to determine the participants in the Conference Football or Ranking Championship in other. sports. The commissioner retains the discretion to declare a non-competition if extraordinary circumstances justify it. “