680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – To college football fans… Breathe
As of right now, college football’s season is expected to kick off on August 29. That is almost five months from today.
I understand that right now looks like it could be tough to see a football season kicking off at that time. But let us also keep in mind how much has changed with COVID-19 over the last few weeks.
If you had told us less than a month ago that we’d be in widespread quarantine over this virus, would you have believed me? That is just one month where things have gotten to the point that we are at right now.
Yes, I am aware of how long it takes to get players ready for a season. Also, I am aware that players are not getting the same strength and conditioning work, as if they were to still on campus.
First off, this 30 days of guidelines for social distancing will tell us a lot about the future of the 2020 college football season. We need to see progress towards “flattening the curve.”
Three weeks ago, it looked like we would never see the end of reported cases and deaths from this awful disease. A lot has changed in that time frame.
Let’s just take the optimistic approach to right now. Say the 30 days of additional distancing works and we see cases trending down on a daily basis. Then, the opportunity of students and staff being allowed back on college campuses arises.
One thing that the “doom and gloom” people in college football will point to, is that the SEC canceled their annual spring meetings in Destin, Florida. That is not an indicator for how things could go for this season’s chances. Frankly, they can have those meetings over video conferencing. Sorry coaches and media: we know you love the golf and beaches of Florida’s Gulf Coast.
As of right now, SEC Media Days and similar events are looking like they’re unlikely to take place. But again, those are scheduled for mid to late-July across all of college football. There’s time for this situation to improve.
Again on the optimism front, programs could possibly be in position to get back on campus at some time in June. If that happens, the conferences and NCAA should allow them to have access to their players. I’m not talking about on-field practices. But, they should be allowed to meet, work out and maybe give them chances for player led on-field work.
These are controlled, you know who is coming in and out of your facility. Plus, you’d likely need to have the players staying in hotels, in order to keep an eye on their comings and goings from your building.
The truth is, we can’t stay like this forever. Eventually, we will be given a go-ahead to go back to work, get on airplanes and go out to restaurants. College campuses will also open back up.
Plus, it would almost be impossible for college football to not be played. The money tells you as much.
To prove my point, take a look at the graphic on the right posted by Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated. This was the balance sheet, from when he covered LSU and shared the 2016-17 revenue from all sports.
Does that tell you that colleges can afford to not have a season? Losing the NCAA is one thing. Losing college football would be catastrophic.
The good news, is that it sounds like no college football is not an option. Brett McMurphy of the Stadium Network told the Paul Finebaum Show that a delayed season is a possibility, based off what he’s heard from athletic directors. Maybe, we would even see a season start in January 2021? Bowl games in May? Not the worst thing to happen.
Moral of the story, is that college football will be played.
We will get through this. We will see (all) sports again.