The coronavirus pandemic has pushed spring football off the calendar across the country but if it does return, the Big 12 will be united in getting some snaps in.
Speaking to 247Sports last week, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte remarked that any potential return to the gridiron will happen in the same window across the league.
“We’ll start to address what happens with spring ball, but there’s been nothing yet,” Del Conte said. “The key is to have a united time as to when it would resume. Some schools have already had some spring practices. Others have not. We don’t want to have teams starting at a certain time, earlier than another and gaining a competitive advantage.”
The Longhorns know better than most what they’re dealing with when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak. School president Gregory Fenves tested positive for coronavirus and Austin itself has been under tight lockdown for several days. The university is moving all classes online and clearing out dorm rooms by the end of the month as well.
Tom Herman and company were scheduled to start spring ball on March 24. That, obviously, will not happen. The Big 12 has suspended any athletic activities until at least March 29.
The issue of starting and ending at the same time is an interesting one. Some schools already got a few practices in while others were weeks away from starting. It does suggest though that the thinking in the Big 12 seems to mirror the SEC’s on the subject. Commissioner Greg Sankey said there’s a narrow window for spring football to happen just last week.
First and foremost, getting containment on the coronavirus remains paramount. Only once that happens to a level that satisfies authorities can athletics look ahead at hosting events again. Hopefully things happen sooner rather than later but it seems increasingly likely things could push deep into summer or, even, the fall.