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UA president: Fall football in jeopardy due to coronavirus

Head coach Kevin Sumlin of the Arizona Wildcats watches from the sidelines during the second half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 30, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

University of Arizona president Robert Robbins told a Tucson radio station that his concern is growing over whether the Wildcats will be able to play college football in the 2019 season on time.

In an interview with 1030 AM KVOI The Voice, Robbins expressed doubt over the prospect of a 2019 football season, which was scheduled to start Aug. 29 against Hawaii at home.

“I’m really concerned about whether we’re going to be playing football in the fall,” Robbins told the radio station, as transcribed by ESPN. “My sense, right now, I just don’t see that happening.”

Arizona would complicate matters if it were to unilaterally decide not to participate in football over safety concerns. But according to comments from Robbins, they’re waiting on directives from their sports’ governing bodies.

“We’re waiting to see what the NCAA does, what the Pac-12 does,” Robbins said. “As much as I want it, you know, it just seems as though if we do play any football in the fall, it’s going to be delayed because I’ve heard nothing and we’re headed to May 1. My hope is we’re going to get some clarity on this very soon, but it seems unlikely to me. I’d love to see it happen, but we’re waiting every day to get some guidance.”

Other schools in the U.S. have already decided to have all-virtual classes in the fall semester, although Arizona has not yet made such a move. ESPN’s story on the matter said the university plans to have students back on campus in the fall.