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Mark Emmert says NCAA will not decide the return of college sports

This sounds...complicated.

NCAA Men’s Final Four - Previews Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images

While we all sit around debating whether or not college athletics will happen this fall, the NCAA seems to have made up its mind.

Some have suggested various guidelines and regulations be issued by the NCAA for the upcoming college football season. Others believe each conference should make its own plan.

According to NCAA president Mark Emmert, neither of those scenarios will happen. He told ESPN, “It will be the local and state health officials that say whether or not you can open and play football with fans.”

Obviously, this takes the burden off of the NCAA for regulating schools in different states with varying degrees of regulations from local officials. But it also seems to create a variety of scenarios that seem less than ideal.

If an entire state, like California, says there will be no sports, but all other PAC-12 states are participating, are we really going to leave UCLA and USC out of all postseason play? If North Carolina takes another year to open up, will we see an ACC and NCAA Tournament without either Duke or North Carolina?

“Where we have direct control is of course over our championships, all 90 of those championships, and we’ll make sure those are conducted in a way that’s first and foremost safe for the students, for coaches, for fans, however that plays out,” Emmert said.

In theory, we could have a full season played by many teams and then the NCAA cancel all post season play. Would they do that just to avoid a championship scenario without top teams? Would they make provisions to let teams that play little to no regular season games still participate in the post season?

There are so many questions surrounding the scenarios that could be presented by this decision. While I agree that there are countless unknown variables to consider right now, I am not convinced that the NCAA washing their hands of these decisions is the right route to keep the integrity of college competition.