Fort Scott running back Jasmin Hopkins, right, rushes past Blinn's Duke Bohall during the first half of the NJCAA national championship football game in Pittsburg, Kan., on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009. Hopkins rushed for 189 yards on the day. Blinn won 31-26. (AP Photo/Mike Gullett)

NJCAA moves football season to Spring

The National Junior College Athletic Association will move its football season to the spring. The Athletic was first to report this decision. The NJCAA has 54 schools that play football.

When will games be played?

The plan, as reported by ESPN and the Athletic, is for teams to have some practices this fall between August 13 and October 10.

Also, teams would be allowed to have two scrimmages against outside competition, but only if they think it’s safe.

As for when games actually start, March 1, 2021, is supposed to be the start of practice, with games beginning on March 25.

The ESPN report said the teams will play a seven-game schedule.

The season will end on May 15, and the championship and bowl games will begin on June 3.

Will spring football affect recruiting?

National signing day is February 3, 2021. Obviously, that now conflicts with the NJCAA because their season won’t begin until a month after that date.

Will players be able to commit, then play for their junior college team in the spring? Will spring football players have to wait until next year’s recruiting cycle?

Also, for transfers heading to an NCAA school, what will their off-season look like? June 3 to early August is not a long off-season for incoming juniors that want to come in and make an immediate impact at the NCAA level.

These are all questions that are unanswered at the moment. Hopefully, we will have some more clarity on the recruiting issues after Monday’s meeting of the NJCAA’s board of regents.

Is this a trend for the rest of football?

The Ivy League already announced the canceling of all sports until January 1, 2021. Now, with the NJCAA’s decision, the focus is shifting more and more to the NCAA. The Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC all made scheduling moves. Will the NCAA follow the Ivy League and NJCAA, or will they remain focused on a fall football schedule?

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