The first roadblock to an on-time, on-schedule college football season this fall was put up on Wednesday, as the Ivy League, an FCS conference in Division I, announced that it would postpone all athletics through at least the 2020 fall semester.
This makes the Ivy League the first NCAA Division I conference to announce its plans for the 2020 fall semester.
Competition in the Ivy League now resumes no earlier than Friday, Jan. 1.
As you’ll recall, on March 10, the Ivy League moved to cancel its men’s and women’s basketball championships due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the first conference in Division I to do so.
By the evening of March 12, all conference tournaments had been cancelled and the NCAA canceled the rest of its season.
Onward to today’s topic.
March 12: Due to the coronavirus, which had just been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) that day, Bellator MMA was forced to make an alteration to the next evening’s scheduled Bellator 241 card.
Bellator MMA President Scott Coker initially decided that the March 13 Bellator 241 was to take place without fans inside Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
This was necessitated by an executive order from Connecticut Governor Ted Lamont, barring mass gatherings in excess of 250 spectators.
A change in plans:
The next day, March 13, with just under six hours to go before Bellator 241 was to start live with the undercard fights on DAZN, the Bellator MMA app, and Bellator MMA YouTube channel, Bellator president Scott Coker elected to postpone the event in the interest of safety for all parties involved.
In spite of the 11th-hour decision to postpone Bellator 241 on March 13, all fighters who had been booked to appear on the card were compensated.
Bellator 241 was to have featured the remaining quarterfinals in the Featherweight World Grand Prix.
In the aftermath of the March 13 postponement, Bellator MMA announced on March 30 that every event through May on its schedule would be called off, eventually extending to the June 6 Bellator 244 card in Chicago.
Light at the end of the tunnel?
Wednesday, Sherdog reported that Bellator’s four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic could soon end.
Sherdog’s article reads:
“According to multiple sources close to the situation, the California-based promotion is targeting Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.”
Sherdog’s article notes, however, that the July 24 restart in Connecticut is all contingent upon Bellator MMA receiving approval from the Mohegan Tribe Department of Regulation, including safety procedures, to hold the card.
Any card would be held without fans in attendance to curb the spread of the disease.
This event, along with others that may be held in Connecticut for the foreseeable future, would also be a cross-promotion with Showtime Sports’ Showtime Boxing.
Bellator MMA is currently overseen by Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza, who concentrates on the premium cable network’s boxing coverage, having served in that capacity since a January shakeup in its parent company ViacomCBS.
At this moment, no pairings have been officially revealed for this card, but we’ll keep you posted.