If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently, which can understandably be difficult to do given our current state of affairs following the coronavirus pandemic, it appears things are on the right track throughout much of the country as many states have already begun to open back up and others are soon to follow.

Even college campuses across the nation have announced plans to welcome students back to campus in the fall and hopes are high that college football can be played as nearly the entire SEC has issued some form of a plan to return to in-person classes.

While the season now looks more likely to be played than ever since the coronavirus descended on the country, there are many unanswered questions that exist with one of the biggest being fan attendance for the upcoming college football season.

Will it be safe to have that many people on campuses across the country on game day and congregating in stadiums?

According to Dr. Jon McCullers, an associate executive dean at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s College of Medicine and infectious disease expert, the answer is clearly no. McCullers shared his thoughts on the subject during a recent appearance on Memphis-based ESPN 92.9 FM radio program “The Geoff Calkins Show.”

“You’re not going to have spectators in Neyland Stadium this year,” McCullers said on the show. “That’s just not going to happen. Whether people want to think it is or not, it’s not going to happen. I’ll tell you that. The question is: Do we play football without spectators?

“Interestingly, I’m being told that’s going to be a conference decision and that the university presidents, who are going to have influence over the conference decision, obviously, are going to abide by what the conference decides. So UT is waiting to see what the SEC says about if there’s going to be football or not. It will be really interesting if some conferences say they are going to have football and maybe the SEC does and just plays each other, or something. The landscape is really fascinating.”

It should also be noted that Dr. McCullers is in charge of Tennessee’s task force looking into the reopening of all campuses across the state.

Thankfully we have plenty of time remaining before any final decisions have to be made but considering these comments from Dr. McCullers, while college football may be played come the fall, things may not be totally back to normal on campuses until the 2021 season.

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.