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At least two of Georgia’s six offseason arrests (thus far) will result in one-game suspensions

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When Steve Spurrier was at South Carolina and Mark Richt was at Georgia, the Ol’ Ball Coach once famously opined that he preferred to catch UGA early on in the season “because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.” While the head coaches at both SEC East programs have since moved on, the policies that led to the OBC’s scheduling preference when it came to UGA haven’t.

In the last month, six Georgia football players have been arrested on various misdemeanor charges.  The most recent of the in-the-legal-doghouse sextet are sophomore linebackers Robert Beal and Brenton Cox (pictured), who were arrested earlier this week on marijuana possession charges.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reminded everyone, the weed arrests, per the university’s student-athlete policy, will very likely result in one-game suspensions for both Beal and Cox.  The newspaper also adds that, “[b]ecause the arrest took place in a campus dorm, Beal and Cox are also subject to UGA student-judiciary action.”

How that part of the process would impact the players’ university-mandated suspension is unclear.

Cox is a projected starter at linebacker while Beal will continue competing for a starting job throughout the remainder of the offseason and on into summer camp.

As for the other off-field issues?  Last month, four of Kirby Smart‘s Bulldogs were arrested for various offenses, with those ranging from traffic violations/suspended license (linebacker Jaden Hunter) to simple battery (defensive back Latavious Brini) to disorderly conduct (cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, wide receiver Tyler Simmons).

At this point, it’s unclear if any of those incidents will result in any type of game suspensions.

Georgia, incidentally, opens up the 2019 season on the road against SEC East rival Vanderbilt in late August.

Minnesota projecting potential $75 million loss due to COVID-19

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The worst case for Minnesota when it comes to COVID-19 is a hefty bottom line hit.

The school’s board of regents met on Tuesday and detailed some of the initial modeling they are projecting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking just of the athletic department, that could result in nearly $75 million in lost revenue alone for the Gophers.

The Athletic’s Eric Vegoe detailed one of the slides from the meeting, which shows an overall $200 million hit to the university at large in a worst case — or “severe” — scenario:

Obviously the severe scenario that shows COVID-19 lasting into the fall is projecting a serious loss of revenue as the result of no (or reduced) college football. The sport makes up the vast majority of Minnesota’s revenues and has untold impact on other items such as donations as well.

USA Today’s database of athletic department revenues show the Gophers had nearly $125 million in revenue through the 2017-18 school year. While that figure has undoubtedly climbed higher as Big Ten media rights distributions have escalated, the number provided to the regents is still a huge chunk of that amount.

Even the moderate estimate of things lasting through the summer could result in a 20% shave on the department’s income.

It goes without saying that finances across the board in every industry will be impacted by the global pandemic but slides like the one above are a good reminder that even in the tiny world of football or college athletics, the cuts will probably have to run quite deep. And if a school like Minnesota is potentially forced to cut back, just imagine what other Group of Five programs will have to go through.

At some point college football will return to our lives but the ramifications of this current battle against the coronavirus figure will certainly have a far-reaching impact well beyond the gridiron. Sadly, no amount of ‘Rowing the Boat’ will be able to change that fact.

Bay Area official does not expect sports to return “until at least Thanksgiving”

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So much of the intersection of the coronavirus and college football has centered on when the game might return this fall.

Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy wants players back as soon as May. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is confident that Death Valley will be packed come September. Virginia Tech’s athletic director has floated moving the calendar back just to get a full slate in.

In short, nobody knows.

That unknown has weighed heavily on most as they are asked to discuss the topic in recent days. What is left unsaid however, is that no coach or administrator will truly be in charge of determining the date CFB returns. That will be left to health officials at the local level.

One such official broached that topic this week. Speaking to the Santa Clara County (in the California Bay Area) Board of Supervisors, Dr. Jeffrey Smith believes sports in general may be looking more toward winter than fall whenever it returns.

Per the Los Angeles Times:

Smith on Tuesday told that county’s Board of Supervisors that he did not expect there would be “any sports games until at least Thanksgiving, and we’d be lucky to have them by Thanksgiving. This is not something that’s going to be easy to do.”

Santa Clara County is home to both Stanford and San Jose State. It’s also located in the region of the United States that was at the forefront of shutting down as a response to COVID-19 last month.

If those in charge don’t see a return to the football field until turkey time, those optimistic projections of getting the season done on time can probably be thrown to the wind.

Let’s hope that won’t turn out to be the case and the world can get a medical miracle it desperately needs. But until that happens, it’s probably best to be more pessimistic when it comes to the 2020 season than optimistic.

Survey of ADs shows momentum for expanded College Football Playoff

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At some point normalcy will return to college football. When that will be is anybody’s guess but it will come at some point.

When it does, much of the focus in the sport will return to matters like… College Football Playoff expansion. Yes, everybody’s favorite subject isn’t being forgot even if the attention is elsewhere nowadays due to the coronavirus.

Stadium recently conducted a wide-ranging survey of FBS athletic directors and one of the big questions asked was not surprisingly about the future of the CFP. To nobody’s surprise, the move toward eight or more teams in the annual postseason tournament is gathering plenty of momentum.

Per Brett McMurphy:

A whopping 88 percent of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) athletic directors want an expanded College Football Playoff when the current playoff contract ends after the 2025 regular season, according to a survey conducted by Stadium.

Of those athletic directors who favor an expanded playoff, 72 percent believe eight teams should qualify. Also, 66 percent of the ADs said the highest-ranked non-Power Five team should receive an automatic bid to an expanded playoff.

Since its inception as a four team event, the idea of expansion for the College Football Playoff has been a pretty constant talking point. Some have made their feelings known publicly at all levels.

“More and more fans are only concerned with the playoffs,” a Power Five AD told Stadium. “That’s sad, but true, so we should expand the playoffs when possible. Even if that impacts the bowl system. We have to figure out a way.”

So mostly it’s been a question of when and not if. The focus on the latter has typically centered around the expiration of the CFP television contract with ESPN after the 2025-26 season. Executive director Bill Hancock has remarked a few times that there is no “look-in” with the deal to formally renegotiate the contract. Still, there would need to be some groundwork laid and a decision made well before 2025 in order to make the necessary changes to things like semifinal dates and stadium sites.

Given the potential revenue shortfalls due to the on-going COVID-19 situation, perhaps things will be accelerated over the course of the summer but we’re entering a window where the talk about moving to eight teams or beyond is going to start turning into some action.

It sounds as though the ADs are on board with formally expanding the chase for the national championship and this latest survey only confirms as much.

Brian Kelly confirms talks to move Navy-Notre Dame game in Ireland due to COVID-19

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College football jumping across the pond to Ireland may have to take a raincheck due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though many have been wondering if college football will be played this fall, one of the more anticipated games on the 2020 schedule could be on the move regardless. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly confirmed that discussing are being had regarding moving the opener against Navy that was to take place Week 0 in Dublin, Ireland.

As Douglas Farmer of NBC’s Inside the Irish relays:

The two rivals’ annual game was scheduled to take place at Aviva Stadium and mark the third time they’ve played in the city over the past few decades. The teams have met every year since 1927 and the event was expected to draw nearly 35,000 fans.

Any potential change is also notable given that ESPN’s College GameDay was also supposed to be at the game with their first ever international edition as a way to kickoff the 2020 season.  While game times were not completely set for Week 0 prior to the pandemic, the Navy-Notre Dame contest was likely to be one of, if not the, first games of the college football calendar.

Who knows when — or where — the Irish will wind up playing the Midshipmen eventually, but like everything changing as a result of the battle against COVID-19, things are taking a backseat to the health and safety of others. That certainly includes a game of overseas pigskin.