Here’s a snapshot of where college football is on starting the 2020 season on time or close to it. Three perspectives, from two university presidents and a conference commissioner. The comments ranged from eagerness to guarded optimism to trepidation.
Pretty much sums up where a lot of the nation is regarding this coronavirus mess, eh?
Item 1: Almost time to get going
Iowa president Bruce Harreld told the university’s Board of Regents on Thursday that the team is slated to return to practice June 1, when a moratorium on team-related activities is scheduled to be lifted. Harreld said Big Ten schools want players to have six to eight weeks of practice to lower injury risk. (Per Scott Dochterman of The Athletic)
“We missed spring practice. And I guess to answer your question, if we got to the worst of the worst, would we let the players play with no fans? I don’t know. Because if we’re at that stage with this virus, we’d have to do a lot of testing of the individual players. And I’m not going to go yes or no on that. I’m going to refer to the experts. But right now, June 1 is the date, we’re going to get back to practice. And here we go.”
Item 2: See you in September . . . maybe
Alabama system president Stuart Bell says students could be able to return to campus as early as July, which means . . . get ready for games at Bryant-Denny? (Per WIAT-TV in Birmingham, Ala.)
“(C)ertainly our plan is that we will have a football season and fans will be a part of it in our stadium. So we are working on that and our first games are in September. So we have time and we also know we have work to do.”
Item 3: What happens when the virus returns?
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby won’t guarantee on an on-time start, and he’s also concerned about the end of the season when infections may spike again. (Per Sirius Big 12 Radio, via the Dallas Morning News)
“We will be very, very lucky to start on Labor Day weekend and get through the football season without disruptions. We will be very lucky to get through the postseason and the basketball season without disruptions.”
That’s why Bowlsby has suggested a split fall/spring football season.