Big 12 Board of Directors to meet this week to discuss upcoming football season


Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

Sam Stuve

With conferences such as the Mid-American Conference having moved its football season to the spring due to COVID-19 concerns, other conferences are still weighing their options for the next college football season.

The Big 12 conference, which has already approved a nine-game conference schedule with one non-conference game, is set to have its board of directors meet with medical experts on Monday at 5 p.m., according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Drew Davison.

“I am told the Big 12 board of directors is planning to meet at 5 p.m. tomorrow with its medical experts on the upcoming football season,” Davison said in a  tweet on Sunday.

According to the Des Moines Register’s Randy Peterson, Bowlsby said Monday’s meeting is a previously scheduled meeting and is not an emergency meeting.

Davison said in a article on Sunday, “A Big 12 spokesperson said the decision whether to cancel or postpone the season would be made at the board level by university presidents and chancellors.”

According to the Austin-Stateman’s Kirk Bohls, the Big 12 may decide on its fall football schedule in the next week.

“[Big 12 Commissioner Bob] Bowlsby also says he expects the Big 12 football schedule to be completed this week,” Bohls tweeted on Sunday.

In regards to the MAC moving its football season to the spring, Bowlsby told the Austin-Statesman, “It is certainly a data point we take into consideration, but I do not know if it makes our decision for us. I do not know how to say what impact it has on our presidents and chancellors.”

The decision on the football season seems to be in the hands of the medical experts that it is set to meet with. 

“We just need to listen to our doctors and scientists,” Bowlsby told the Des Moines Register on Sunday. “In the end, we’re going to do what’s best for our league.” 

Earlier in the day, quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who won a national championship with Clemson (of the ACC conference), tweeted, “Let’s work together to create a situation where we can play the game that all of us love. Not divide and argue. There is a way forward.”

Bowlsby told the Des Moines Register, “That means something to me because I want to play, too. “I think we all want to play. It’s just a matter of if we can play safely. Can we ensure people that are participating, that there are no long-term effects from the infection? The priority is what it has always been. It’s to make sure people participate safely and without short- or long-term complications.”

Lawrence then tweeted a statement late Sunday night that is representative of players from Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12 and SEC), asking to for players to able to play the season, opt out of the season if the players choose to do, for mandate health and safety procedures to protect NCAA student-athletes from COVID-19, guarantee eligibility for a player whether they opt out or not, for their voices to establish open communication and trust between officials and players; and also the opportunity to create a College Football Players Association.

With the college football season set to begin for some Big 12 schools, such as Oklahoma on Aug. 30, the Big 12 conference may have to make a decision very soon on whether to have the season as is, moved to the fall, or canceled entirely.

There is speculation that Big Ten and Pac 12 conferences are considering moving their football season to the spring. 

If these two conferences move their football seasons to the spring, then it could pressure conferences like the Big 12 to follow suit. 

As the countdown till the start of the football season continues, the question of can a football season be run successfully for everyone involved has continued to be asked. 

“I have literally been on dozens of calls with doctors and scientists,” Bowlsby told the Des Moines Register. “No one has told us to stop.”

The Big 12’s brass has yet to make a decision on the football season, but could so with more meetings ahead.