Tracking When Colleges Will Reopen During COVID-19 Pandemic

May 6, 2020, 11:13 AM | Updated: May 28, 2020, 10:05 am
Utah Campus - College...
Ivy Ceballo, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – If the 2020 college football season is going to start on time as scheduled, schools will need to be in session. College commissioners spoke with Vice President Mike Pence and the Coronavirus task force last month and they all expressed that football games would not be played without students on campus.

So knowing that commissioners will not have a season without school taking place when universities are reopening and allowing students back on campus can maybe shed light on the likelihood college football in 2020 starts on time.

May 27th Update: Utah State University and Southern Utah University will open for classes in the fall

May 7th Update: Oregon Governor cancels/significantly modifies large gatherings through September

Governor of Oregon Kate Brown announced on Thursday that all events with large gatherings of people would be canceled or significantly modified through September. That would include Oregon and Oregon State football games.

The games themselves have not been ruled out from being played, but there will be no fans in Autzen or Reser Stadium.

May 7th: Power 5 commissioner says games could be played with online-only classes

One of the big hangups for a potential 2020 season was that colleges wanted students to be on campus in order for a football season. Now that narrative is changing as Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby has said teams could play with online-only schooling.


The NCAA laid out nine core principles of resocialization of collegiate sport.

  1. There must not be directives at the national level that preclude resocialization
  2. State and local authorities must have in place a plan for resocialization
  3. There should be a plan in place at the university/college level for resocialization of students
  4. There must be a plan in place at the university/college level for the resocialization of student-athletes within athletics.
  5. There must be adequate personal protective equipment for athletics health care providers, and sanitizers to manage infection control in all shared athletics space
  6. There must be the ability to assess immunity to COVID-19 at a regional and local level. This could include immunity at the college campus, plus a more focused assessment of herd immunity for athletics teams.
  7. There must be access to reliable, rapid diagnostic testing on any individual who is suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms.
  8. There must be in place a local surveillance system so that newly identified cases can be identified promptly and isolated, and their close contacts must be managed appropriately.
  9. There must be clearly identified and transparent risk analyses in place. Such risk analyses consider issues such as economics, education, restoration of society, and medical risk of sport participation, including COVID-19 infection and possible death.

When schools intend to open might highlight when/if realistically we can expect a college football season to take place this fall.

Here’s a running tracker of the schools in the state of Utah that play at the FBS level along with Power 5 institutions on when they will reopen their campuses for classes.

Schools in the state of Utah

University of Utah / Utah State University

The Utah System of Higher Education stated last month that they intend to have in-person classes resume this fall. But neither university has made a formal decision for their respective institutions on the status of students being back in the fall.


Brigham Young University has yet to make any announcement regarding fall classes. Students have recently received a survey asking for feedback on their experiences with virtual learning during the winter semester and gauge interest for a similar setup in the fall.

Pac-12 Universities


Arizona will have in-person classes this fall.


Some or all of the classes this fall will be delivered online.


According to Chancellor of the University, Colorado is planning for a hybrid education model this fall.


Aiming for in-person classes this fall.


Has five or six different scenarios for when to start classes including in the winter according to Stanford Provost.


Looking to announce plans within the next two months.

Washington State

Planning to have in-person classes in fall 2020 as scheduled.

Power 5 institutions who are expected to have in-person classes in fall



Florida State




Iowa State


Maryland (Some larger classes may be online)



North Carolina State

Ohio State (leaning towards in-person, will decide in June)

Oklahoma State



Texas A&M

Texas Tech

Power 5 universities that are undecided

Arkansas (Will decide on June 1st)



Florida (Will announce in July)

Kentucky (Will announce in June)


Pittsburgh (Back to normal is probably unlikely for the fall)


Tennessee (Mulling over in-person, online, or hybrid between the first two options)

Virginia (Will make an announcement in mid-June)

  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

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Tracking When Colleges Will Reopen During COVID-19 Pandemic