college football
Getty Images

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Houston Nutt threatening to sue Ole Miss if he doesn’t get an apology

Leave a comment

The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on May 25, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Thanks to resurgence under Kirby Smart, Georgia donors have contributed $140 million the past two years
THE SYNOPSIS: And some people still bitch and/or whine and/or moan over players being allowed to profit off their own names, images and likenesses.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Report: Houston Nutt could sue Ole Miss for defamation if he doesn’t get apology
THE SYNOPSIS: This situation ultimately led to the resignation of Hugh Freeze.  The discovery of a call from Freeze’s university-issued cell phone to an escort service, specifically.

2016

THE HEADLINE: PETA (again) calls on LSU to end live-mascot tradition
THE SYNOPSIS: Just as they have when it comes to Colorado.  And Mississippi State. And Georgia.  And Texas.

2014

THE HEADLINE: Todd Blackledge: SEC players are more NFL ready than others
THE SYNOPSIS: For some reason, this was a controversial statement.  Apropos of nothing, the SEC has now had the most players selected in 14 straight NFL drafts.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Stunner: Irish QB Everett Golson no longer enrolled in school
THE SYNOPSIS: Golson was suspended for the entire 2013 season for academic misconduct.  He then returned to the Fighting Irish for the 2014 season.  Only to ultimately transfer to Florida State.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Man accused of poisoning Toomer’s Corner pleads not guilty at hearing
THE SYNOPSIS: Remember good ol’ Harvey Updyke?  Yeah, I wish I didn’t either.

SEC will allow players to return to campus June 8 for voluntary workouts

Leave a comment

When it comes to the SEC, it just means more… signs that there may indeed be some semblance of a college football season.

Earlier this week, the NCAA announced that it would allow schools to bring its student-athletes back to campus for voluntary workouts starting June 1.  It had previously been confirmed that the SEC would vote Friday on whether to bring student-athletes, including college football players, back to campus June 1 or June 15.

In the end, the conference opted to split the difference.  Friday, the SEC confirmed that student-athletes, including football players, will be permitted to return to campus for voluntary athletic activities starting June 8.

The league had previously banned all such activities through May 31.

“The safe and healthy return of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and our greater university communities have been and will continue to serve as our guiding principle as we navigate this complex and constantly-evolving situation,” said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey in a statement. “At this time, we are preparing to begin the fall sports season as currently scheduled, and this limited resumption of voluntary athletic activities on June 8 is an important initial step in that process. Thanks to the blueprint established by our Task Force and the dedicated efforts of our universities and their athletics programs, we will be able to provide our student-athletes with far better health and wellness education, medical and psychological care and supervision than they would otherwise receive on their own while off campus or training at public facilities as states continue to reopen.”

In its release, the SEC stated that “the Task Force prepared a series of best practices for screening, testing, monitoring, tracing, social distancing and maintaining cleaned environments.” Among the enhanced health and safety measures:

  • Enhanced education of all team members on health and wellness best practices, including but not limited to preventing the spread of COVID-19
  • A 3-stage screening process that involves screening before student-athletes arrive on campus, within 72 hours of entering athletics facilities and on a daily basis upon resumption of athletics activities
  • Testing of symptomatic team members (including all student-athletes, coaches, team support and other appropriate individuals)
  • Immediate isolation of team members who are under investigation or diagnosed with COVID-19 followed by contact tracing, following CDC and local public health guidelines
  • A transition period that allows student-athletes to gradually adapt to full training and sport activity following a period of inactivity

Coaches will not be permitted to participate or even observe the voluntary workouts.  Strength & conditioning personnel are excluded.

“While each institution will make its own decisions in creating defined plans to safely return student-athletes to activity, it is essential to employ a collaborative approach that involves input from public health officials, coaches, sports medicine staff, sports performance personnel and student-athletes,” Sankey added. “Elements of the Task Force recommendations provided key guidance for determining the date of the return to activity.”

As it stands right now, there are 11 SEC schools that have already announced they will commence voluntary workouts June 8 — Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Missouri, Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M.  The lone undecideds are Kentucky, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

The Big Ten is also expected to allow players back to campus early next month, with schools such as Ohio State targeting June 8.  Illinois has joined OSU as well.

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, although Louisville has already announced a phased return of on-campus workouts.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Jim Mora stating Josh Rosen was ‘heading towards Johnny Manziel’ territory after ‘f**k Trump’ cap flap

college football
Getty Images
6 Comments

The sports world, including college football, has essentially screeched to a halt as countries around the world battle the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there’s a dearth of college football news as spring practices have all but been canceled at every level of the sport. And there’s even some concern that the health issue could have an impact on the 2020 college football campaign.

In that vein, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on May 22, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Division III MIAC conference kicks out St. Thomas for being TOO good
THE SYNOPSIS: Yep, that conference actually went there.  The Tommies have won seven of the past 10 conference football titles.  They’ve also won the MIAC All-Sports Trophy every single season on both the men’s and women’s sides since 2008.  The school is seeking a waiver that would allow it to move from Div. III to the FCS.  Bypassing Div. II is currently impermissible.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Alabama continues to block grad transfer Brandon Kennedy
THE SYNOPSIS: The blocking of a player who has already graduated will never, ever make any sense to me.  And will always infuriate me.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Jim Mora, on Josh Rosen’s ‘f**k Trump’ cap flap: ‘you’re heading towards Johnny Manziel
THE SYNOPSIS: The UCLA quarterback kicked up quite the kerfuffle by wearing said cap on one of the golf courses of then-candidate Donald Trump.  And, of course, Rosen hasn’t even approached Johnny Football territory.  At all.

2014

THE HEADLINE: New Mexico State O-line coach resigned following pair of citations for huffing
THE SYNOPSIS: There’s a headline you don’t see every day.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Perfect 10: UT’s Dodds doesn’t see need to expand Big 12
THE SYNOPSIS: Eight years later, the conference remains at 10 members.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Arkansas and Petrino come to agreement on new contract
THE SYNOPSIS: Less than one year later, Bobby Petrino was canned.

2009

THE HEADLINE: Pair Of ‘Cocks Reinstated, Still Face One-Game Suspensions
THE SYNOPSIS: “‘Cocks.” That is all.

NCAA tables one-time transfer proposal to early next year

NCAA
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rightly so, the NCAA as castigated and publicly pilloried for some of its decisions.  This time, though, they got it right.  For now.

Many, us included, criticized the NCAA back in April when its Board of Directors and its Presidential Forum recommended to the Division I Council that the proposal on a one-time transfer waiver is “not appropriate at this time.” Wednesday, the Council did the expected and tabled the proposal until January of next year.

From the NCAA’s release:

The resolution was recommended by the Transfer Waiver Working Group, which earlier this year had proposed a change to waiver guidelines that would have accomplished the same goal but through the waiver process instead of through a legislative change. Last month, the Division I Board of Directors indicated it preferred a legislative change and lifted the moratorium it had placed on transfer eligibility proposals last fall.

“The transfer environment has long been an issue of much discussion in Division I. The Division I Council is committed to a uniform and equitable approach to transfer rules that considers student-athlete well- being and the opportunities available after transfer,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “We will not simply change the rule, but we will consider a comprehensive package designed to address the multiple complexities involved.”

The Council committed to work with conferences, schools, the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the Division I Committee on Academics and other committees to form a permanent legislative solution

Currently, Division I rules permit student-athletes in all sports except baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, football and men’s ice hockey to immediately compete after a first transfer. Reliance on the waiver process for student-athletes in those five sports has put enormous strain on a historically collaborative process built to handle extenuating circumstances.

The resolution called the waiver process “an unsustainable method to achieve lasting stability, consistency and transparency within the transfer environment” and declared it was “never designed to accommodate sustained requests for relief from a rule without actually changing the rule.

The comprehensive package will address issues that impact transfer, including academic requirements, roster management considerations, transfer notification dates, accountability measures for schools that accept transfer students, and additional education on the transfer rules and process. The Committee on Academics will provide its guidance to any academic aspects of the package.

Given the uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic has caused across all sports, pushing this legislation back a few months is a very prudent move.  Instantly granting thousands of football players — not to mention basketball players as well — a one-time free transfer pass at this time, while athletic departments are already stretched attempting to safely get their student-athletes back on the field, would’ve done exponentially more harm than good.

It’s expected that the legislation will be adopted at the NCAA convention in January, and will go into effect for the 2021-22 academic year.

NCAA to allow football programs to bring players back to campus starting June 1 for voluntary workouts

Leave a comment

With each passing day, it’s looking more and more likely there’ll be a college football season.  At least, there will be one in some form or fashion.

Wednesday, the NCAA confirmed that some sports will be permitted to resume voluntary on-campus activities beginning June 1.  Included in that limited group (for now) are college football players.  Men’s and women’s basketball are permitted a limited resumption as well.

The NCAA made sure to stress that the on-campus activities are voluntary.Voluntary on-campus athletics activity must be initiated by the student-athlete. Coaches may not be present unless a sport-specific safety exception allows it, and activity cannot be directed by a coach or reported back to a coach.

“We encourage each school to use its discretion to make the best decisions possible for football and basketball student-athletes within the appropriate resocialization framework,” said Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “Allowing for voluntary athletics activity acknowledges that reopening our campuses will be an individual decision but should be based on advice from medical experts.”

With the NCAA’s announcement, it will be up to each individual conference — and each individual institution — to reopen the 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.

Exactly when these various conferences can start actual practices for the start of the 2020 college football remains to be seen.

In addition to the resumption of on-campus workouts, the NCAA also announced a handful of waivers have been granted.  Those related to the highest level of football includes:

  • Waiving the minimum football attendance requirement for Football Bowl Subdivision members for two years.
  • Financial aid minimums for FBS schools were waived to permit an institution to award at least 75% of the maximum FBS financial aid limit for three years. In addition, institutions will be permitted to award a minimum of 150 athletics grants-in-aid or expend a minimum of $3 million on grants-in-aid to student-athletes for a period of three years. Gender equity requirements and rules governing nonrenewal/cancellation of aid remain in effect.
  • FBS schools will not be required to play 60% of their games against FBS members or play five home games against FBS opponents.

The latter waiver is nearly as important as the resumption of on-campus workouts. The easing of those restrictions will allow athletic directors across the country the flexibility to get in a full slate of games — or as close to a full slate of games — as we continue to weave our way through the coronavirus pandemic.