As the leaders of the sport figure out the hows, Jim Harbaugh is open to any and all ideas to safely get college football back.
The Michigan head coach appeared on NBC Sports‘ Lunch Talk Live with Mike Tirico Wednesday afternoon. As a growing number of administrators have started to acknowledge, Jim Harbaugh is fully aware that, even when it does return, games won’t be played in front of capacity crowds.
Harbaugh also stated that, to a man, his players would choose to play football games with no fans at all as opposed to not playing at all.
During the course of the interview, Harbaugh also applauded his university’s creativity when it comes to allowing students, including his football players, back onto campus. And allowing them back on safely.
During a previous interview, Harbaugh broached the very same subject.
“Heck yeah, I’d be comfortable coaching a game without any fans,” Harbaugh said. “If the choice were play in front of no fans or not play, then I would choose to play in front of no fans.”
It’s expected that the NCAA will vote to lift the ban on on-campus workouts. That would begin clearing the way for football players to return. Once the NCAA makes that official — it’s already being reported, but the NCAA hasn’t yet announced it — it will be up to the individual conferences to reopen its doors for college football players to return to campus. In accordance with local and state guidelines, obviously.
It’s already been confirmed that the SEC will vote this Friday on whether to bring student-athletes, including college football players, back to campus June 1 or June 15. Of the 14 athletic directors in the conference, just one, Tennessee’s Phillip Fulmer, is not in favor of the June 1 date for a return. The Big Ten is also expected to allow players back to campus early this month, with schools such as Ohio State targeting June 8.
The Big 12, meanwhile, is eyeing a mid- to late-June return date for student-athletes. The Pac-12 will make a determination next week. The ACC is expected to do the same.