College Football Playoff announces COVID-19 postseason policies

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(WEHT) – The College Football Playoff Management Committee announced a series of new actions on Wednesday it will take to protect student-athlete health and safety as the omicron virus has spread in advance of the College Football Playoff.

If an institution determines it is unable to compete in a game during the Fiesta and Peach Bowls, the CFP, bowl game and ESPN will attempt to identify an alternate date for the game within one week of the scheduled date. If no date can be identified, the game would be considered no contest.

During the Playoff Semifinals, if one team is unavailable to play, the unavailable team will forfeit the game and its opponent would advance to the national championship game. If both teams are unavailable to play in one semifinal, the game would be declared no contest, and the team winning the other semifinal game would be declared the CFP National Champion. If three teams are unavailable to play, the semifinal game in which two teams are unable to play would be declared no contest. The team in the other semifinal game would forfeit and the opponent would be declared CFP National Champion.

If the team’s unavailability is determined after the Playoff Semifinals have been conducted, the national championship game in Indianapolis may be rescheduled to no later than January 14. If one team is able to play and the other is not and the game cannot be rescheduled of if the game is rescheduled and cannot e played, the team unable to play shall forfeit the game and the other team shall be declared CFP National Champion. If both teams are unable to play on either an original or rescheduled date, the game shall be declared no contest and the CFP National Championship shall be vacated for the season.

The following are other policies that will be in place for this year’s games:

  • Teams have the option to arrive at the bowl site not later than two days before the game, rather than the customary five days before the game.
  • Attendance at events at the game sites will be optional for student-athletes, institutions’ staff members, bands and spirit squads.
  • Media access to coaches, staff and student-athletes will be virtual only
  • Non-essential personnel will not have access to the field and sidelines pre- and post-game.
  • Each institution will use the testing arrangement that it used during the regular season. The institution will arrange for testing at the game site.
  • Each conference has agreed to accept each other conference’s testing protocol.
  • The director of athletics and the institution’s chief medical officer must certify that each personwith access to the playing field on game day has tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the kickoff or has been fully vaccinated.
  • To provide the best chance of health and safety, the participating institutions are encouraged to ensure that student-athletes and staff take prudent measures and follow medical recommendations to help prevent the contraction or transmission of COVID before, during and after they travel to game sites.

“We certainly wish we were not in this position,” said Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the CFP, “but the only responsible thing is to take whatever actions we can reasonably take to better protect those who play and coach the game.”

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