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.
If you’ve been thinking, “boy, I sure could use some scheduling news involving South Alabama and Louisiana Tech,” are you ever in luck.
South Alabama Wednesday announced a future home-and-home series with Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs will head to Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile on Sept. 24, 2022. The Jaguars will then take a trip to Ruston’s Joe Aillet Stadium on Sept. 25, 2027.
South Alabama and Louisiana Tech have squared off twice previously. Those two matchups were part of a home-and-home in 2017 and 2018. Both of those were wins for the Bulldogs.
USA had previously announced a home-and-home with Ole Miss.
South Alabama is coming off a 2-10 season in the second year under Steve Campbell. The Jaguars have never finished above .500 since making the move to the FBS level in 2012. The closest they came was a 6-6 record in 2013.
Louisiana Tech, meanwhile, is coming off a 10-3 2019 campaign. The 10 wins set a school record as an FBS program. In beating Miami 14-0 in the 2019 Independence Bowl, Tech became the first Group of Five school to shut out a Power Five member in a postseason game.
In seven seasons under skip Holtz, the Bulldogs have gone 56-36. Those are the most wins for a Bulldogs head coach since Tech moved up to the Div. I-A, now FBS, level. With 151, Joe Aillet holds the school’s all-time record.
Like Boise State and Nebraska before it, Eastern Michigan continues a late filling of its 2020 football recruiting class. Even as its eyes are mostly on the 2021 class.
Eastern Michigan football Wednesday that its has officially signed tight end Lucas Luft as part of its Class of 2020. With Luft’s signing, the Eagles now have a class that’s 24 recruits strong.
Luft spent the past two seasons at Fullerton College. In 2018, Luft was a first-team All-Southern California Football Association selection after averaging a ridiculous 31.5 yards per catch.
According to 247Sports.com, Luft is the No. 17 JUCO tight end in this year’s class. He’s also a three-star signee according to that recruiting service.
“In Lucas, we have found exactly what we were looking for,” said head coach Chris Creighton. “He’s a tough 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end that can really stretch the field and catch. He was an excellent wide receiver in high school and has grown into a man who can do it all. Best of all, he is the kind of person we look for off the field. He is a great fit for Eastern Michigan football.
Eastern Michigan now holds the No. 7 football recruiting class in the MAC.
EMU is coming off a 6-7 campaign that ended with a QuickLane Bowl loss to Pitt. The Eagles have now played in a bowl game three of the past four years, the only time in school history that’s ever happened.
Creighton’s 28 wins (in six seasons) are already fifth-most in the program’s history.
For once, Alabama and Marshall have something in common when it comes to football.
Earlier this week, it was reported that a pair of Marshall football players had tested positive for coronavirus. The positive tests came after the Thundering Herd players had returned to campus for voluntary workouts. Both of those individuals were placed in quarantine.
After being allowed to by the SEC, Alabama football players began returning for voluntary on-campus workouts Monday. Four days later, it’s now being reported that at least five Alabama football players have tested positive for COVID-19.
All of the Crimsin Tide players who tested positive are asymptomatic. Based on protocol, all of those have been isolated from the rest of the team. Al.com wrote that “[a]t least one of the players who tested positive for COVID-19 was in attendance for player-led workout sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday.” Obviously, the players involved have not been named publicly.
One report, however, stated “that the list of players included a lineman, a couple of skill players and one quarterback.”
Thursday evening, Alabama released a statement that neither confirmed nor denied the reports.
The health and safety of our student-athletes is a top priority. Resources and protocols are in place to ensure they receive the best medical care when returning to campus. Due to privacy laws we cannot share information specific to the health of our student-athletes.
Chris Beaty may be gone, but the former Indiana football player won’t be soon forgotten.
It was reported Monday that Beaty “was one of two men shot and killed in separate incidents over the weekend as violence erupted in Downtown Indianapolis.” The 38-year-old Beaty was shot multiple times shortly before midnight local time Saturday and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Chris Beaty was a defensive lineman for the Indiana Hoosiers football team from 2000-04.
This week, Beaty’s nephew, Jared Thomas, set up a GoFundMe page to honor his uncle’s legacy. The goal of the fundraising page, Thomas wrote, is to collect “donations in his memory to the Chris Beaty Memorial Scholarship Fund that will benefit Indiana University & Cathedral High School, his alma maters which he loved so dearly.”
As of this posting, more than $40,000 has been raised.
Despite being away from the Indiana football program as a player for nearly two decades, Beaty remained close to it.
HoosierHuddle.com wrote that “Beaty was still actively involved with IU football. He tweeted on April 26th a screenshot of head coach Tom Allen, Mark Deal and several other Indiana football alumni. He thanked Allen for checking in with the former players and said that IU football was in good hands.”
Included was a tweet from Beaty’s personal Twitter account.
“I am at a loss for words,” a statement from Allen began. “The news of the passing of Chris Beaty is just devastating. Since I returned home to coach at Indiana, Chris embraced me, encouraged me and supported me! His passion for life and Indiana Football energized me every time we were together. He was one of our first alumni that displayed his unwavering support for what we are building here at Indiana and how we are building it. I am so heartbroken for his family and he will be deeply missed by all those that were blessed to call him a friend! LEO”