The discussion to move the Rose Bowl semifinal of the College Football Playoff is "still an evolving circumstance," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told CBS Sports on Tuesday.
Bowlsby was reacting to a Monday report from The Athletic's Stewart Mandel that indicated the semifinal could be moved from Southern California primarily because the state would not allow players' families to attend the game due to COVID-19.
"I think it's hard to say to parents of student-athletes that they can't go watch their sons play in the biggest game of their career," Bowlsby told CBS Sports. "That's hard. There's all the quarantine issues and all the travel issues. It's unresolved. The [CFP] Management Committee is going to have to deal with it."
Bowlsby is a member of that 11-member committee made up of the 10 FBS conference commissioners and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. That committee would make the decision as to whether the semifinal should be moved. It would result in the Rose Bowl not being played for the first time since 1915.
If the semifinal is moved, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, is the likely destination, according to The Athletic. AT&T Stadium is home of the Cotton Bowl, which is part of the CFP semifinals rotation.
Bowlsby is aware of the situation but said he has not been directly involved in any such talks. The Athletic's report said the push is coming from the ACC, SEC and Notre Dame, which make up four of the top five teams in the CFP Rankings.
"It's going to be an interesting discussion. We've had some discussion already," said a source close to the situation who requested anonymity. "You're yanking a game. … It really comes down to the families, if they can attend."
The committee is meeting Tuesday and Thursday of this week with a final decision expected in the coming days. The CFP semifinals are set for Jan. 1.
Game attendance has varied from campus to campus and conference to conference this season depending on state and local health guidelines in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state of California is not allowing fans at live events.
The Tournament of Roses has requested a waiver from that restriction but has not yet heard back, according to Rose Bowl CEO David Eads.
"I don't know what the status of that is right now," he said.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Tuesday that his conference "is not part of an initiative to relocate the CFP Semifinal Game." He added: "Any implication that the SEC is part of a proactive charge or lobbying effort to change the location of any CFP location is inaccurate."
"I've been involved in the discussion, but we haven't weighed in on moving it," Bowlsby said of the Big 12.
Asked to react to the prospect of his game not being played, Eads said, "I don't really have any comments today. Obviously, there's a lot in play here."
The committee has previously said it would not replace a team that cannot play in a semifinal due to COVID-19. That doesn't mean the game would be forfeited. There are contingencies such as moving back the dates of the CFP games to accommodate any impacted teams.