Jimmy Lake

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Clay Helton suggests USC would need minimum four weeks to prepare before opening camp

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How long would it take for a college football program to properly prepare for the 2020 season? That seems to be a question with little consistency right now. But as far as USC head coach Clay Helton is concerned, four weeks would be needed just before getting to fall camp.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Helton said in a phone call this week the Trojans would require a “minimum of four weeks” to get ready to take the practice field whenever the start of the college football practices are given the green light. The idea of having additional practices allowed by the NCAA has been a topic floating around the college football world, and this would certainly help this idea come together.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave the entire sports landscape in a suspended state. The various stay home orders continue to tack on more recommended time in isolation and conferences and universities from coast to coast are continuing to address the situation as they see fit. The Pac-12, for example, recently extended its shutdown of all athletic activities through the end of May. As more time goes by, decisions regarding the start of the college football season are beginning to get more pressing.

Earlier this week, Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour stated Penn State felt it would need approximately 60 days in order to have the program ready for the start of the 2020 season. new Washington head coach Jimmy Lake has suggested the Huskies would be good enough with 30 days of practice before starting a season.

“If we started training camp the way we normally start training camp, I think that almost 30 days is going to be good enough and we can keep the schedule exactly the way it is,” Lake said this week, according to The Seattle Times. “We are constantly trying to keep our team healthy throughout that 30 days of training camp. Every practice is crucial, but I think 30 days will be enough.”

How long the various stay home orders across the nation remain in effect is anyone’s guess at this time, which means whether or not the start of the college football season will be interrupted is also unknown and unpredictable. Here’s hoping there are no delays, but the more important issue at hand for everyone is to make sure the coronavirus is taken care of. Only then, can we think about when football practices will get to commence.

New Washington head coach Jimmy Lake getting five-year contract

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After the surprising news at Washington with the sudden stepping down of Chris Petersen, the Huskies are going all-in on his successor. Jimmy Lake, who is taking on the role of head coach after serving as defensive coordinator, is watching the ink dry on a brand new five-year contract, as reported by Steve Berkowitz of USA Today (via Twitter).

Some additional contract details for Lake, again via Berkowitz’s Twitter feed…

Petersen had been making $4.625 million for the 2019 season. According to a database of coaching salaries compiled by USA Today, the $3 million salary for Lake would rank him sixth in the Pac-12 in head coaching salaries, barring any potential contract changes to come. David Shaw of Stanford currently has the most lucrative contract in the Pac-12 at $4.613 million. Utah’s Kyle Whittingham is the second-highest-paid coach in the Pac-12 (although this season suggests that it could be about to be modified) with $4 million.

Mike Leach of Washington State, Chip Kelly of UCLA, and Clay Helton of USC are the only other coaches in the Pac-12 with a higher-paying contract than Luke at this point in time. For the sake of comparison, Colorado’s first-time head coach Mel Tucker is due $2.4 million this season.