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NCAA allows FBS and FCS football programs to move up season opener to August 29; Texas A&M plans to keep opener on September 5

College football programs can move up their week 1 contests to August 29th if they choose to.
Credit: kags

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The NCAA Division I Committee for Legislative Relief (CLR) may issue a blanket waiver in order to temporarily provide relief from NCAA legislation for specific extenuating circumstances that have a reasonably demonstrated widespread impact. Please note that the following summary of waivers is for a specific division (Division I), a specific time period and for a specific set of circumstances.  If the waiver circumstances and the time period of the waiver apply, submission of a separate waiver application is not necessary. If an institution, conference or committee's circumstances do not meet the requirements of, or are dissimilar to, the blanket waiver, a Legislative Relief waiver application will need to be filed with the NCAA staff.

For the 2020 football season, NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institutions may play their first contest beginning on the Saturday prior to the Thursday preceding Labor Day.  This allows an institution's first football contest to occur on Saturday, August 29, 2020.

In granting this request, the NCAA academic and membership affairs staff noted:

  1. Relief is provided on a one-time basis for the 2020 football season due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically noting institutions should follow all applicable legislative, policy and institutional health and safety requirements;
  2. The maximum contest limitations for the 2020 football season (12 for FBS and 11 for FCS) remain in effect.  The FBS and FCS annual exemptions (NCAA Division I Bylaw also remain in effect; and
  3. The blanket waiver was requested by the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee.