Tennessee Vols morning report: New UT and NCAA COVID-19 plans

The Tennessee Vols’ coronavirus plans leads our Volunteers new for Friday, Aug. 14, 2020.

As college football remains in flux after the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided to postpone fall sports, things are going differently for the Tennessee Vols. They and other SEC schools will be set to start fall camp on Monday.

However, what transpires after that remains to be seen, and developments on that front lead our morning update on Rocky Top. The school and the NCAA both released some news Thursday that we have to cover here.

Beyond those two entities, we do have some interesting summer news regarding women’s golf, so there are some positives on the field of play for us to cover. Before that, though, we have to handle the news surrounding COVID-19. Let’s start with new plans for the university.

UT expects reduced capacity at Neyland Stadium – Ryan Callahan, GoVols247

In a video update Thursday, UT chancellor Donde Plowman announced plans for reduced capacity at Neyland Stadium for Tennessee Vols football games this fall. She also said on-campus tailgating will be banned. However, there are mixed reports on that, as the university then tweeted that allowing individual tailgates from fans has not yet been determined.

Tennessee is scheduled to play just five home games this season instead of seven after the SEC recently moved to a 10-game, conference-only schedule. But the dates of those games have yet to be finalized and announced.

NCAA will not recognize fall championships – NCAA.org

On Thursday, NCAA President Mark Emmert said there will be no fall championships for Division I programs due to more than half of them postponing their fall sports. However, the College Football Playoff reported that it is still planning on moving forward with its schedule, which could make things interesting in the end. As of now, the SEC, Big 12 and ACC Still plan to play.

Emmert said he’s confident a solution for fall sports can be implemented, but that the highest priority is to the winter and spring sports because they lost their championships earlier this year. He also said fall will be used to keep student-athletes healthy, engaged with coaches and focused on academics.

Mikayla Bardwell Tennessee Women’s Amateur champion – UTSports

Sophomore golfer Mikayla Bardwell of the Tennessee Lady Vols finished three-under par to finish first place in the Tennessee Women’s Amateur. She is the second player from Rocky Top to win the tournament in three years, following Mariah Smith in 2018.

Going into the tournament’s final turn, Bardwell was locked in a three-way tie for the lead with Middle Tennessee’s Catherine and Caroline Caudill at 1-over. Bardwell shot back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11 followed by par, par, birdie, par, par over the next five holes before closing her final round with another pair of birdies.