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Anonymous FBS athletic director: ‘If there’s no season, we will be f*****’

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If you didn’t realize how important college football is to an athletic department’s bottom line, this should highlight it.

In the midst of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, some connected to the game of college football are decidedly pessimistic that the upcoming season will be played. Others are expressing cautious optimism. For now, at least.

Brett McMurphy of The Stadium conducted a survey of 130 athletic directors with FBS programs, with 112 of them participating. According to McMurphy, the ADs “were asked to rank their optimism on the upcoming season being played from ‘1’ (will not be played) to ’10’ (definitely will be played).”

Not a single AD gave less than a “5” in response, meaning everyone who responded, at least at this time, feels there’s at least a 50-50 chance the season will go off as planned. A slight majority of respondents (51%) assigned either the numbers seven or eight in McMurphy’s survey. One-quarter of them were decidedly optimistic with either a nine or 10 as a response. Most of that optimism was on the part of Group of Five programs that, already financially reeling from the distilled NCAA’s revenue distribution last month, desperately need a college football season to be played.

If the college football season is to start on time — the first games are scheduled for Aug. 29 — what would be the absolute latest teams could start reconvening and prepping for the 2020 campaign? The answer you get depends on the individual you ask. Some would say early June at the absolute latest. Others have said the middle of July.

So, what if the season is canceled? Completely?

“If there’s no season, we will be f*****,” an anonymous AD told McMurphy.

A tweet from Ross Dellenger of SI.com very plainly illustrates how reliant athletic departments are on revenue from college football.

Suffice to say, if the 2020 college football season is completely wiped out, non-revenue sports will be cut. Lots of them will be shuttered, more than likely.

The good news, such as it is, is that the powers-that-be in the sport will go to great lengths to save the 2020 college football season. In fact, one report earlier today suggested that the season could start as late as January of next year. How that would work with players who are eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft would have to be worked out, as would myriad other issues.

While it’s way too early to form a concrete opinion, there’s little doubt that all connected to the sport will exhaust every option to save the 2020 college football season. And, if the season is canceled? It’ll mean we all have a helluva lot more to worry about than sports.

Indiana kicker Nathanael Snyder lands at Louisiana

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For one erstwhile Indiana football player, it was a very brief pitstop in Ye Olde Portal.

One week ago, we noted that Nathanael Snyder had taken the first step in leaving the Indiana football team by placing his name into the NCAA transfer database. A couple of days later, as it turns out, the placekicker took to Twitter to announce his new college football home.

Louisiana. The Ragin’ Cajuns of the Sun Belt Conference.

Snyder is leaving the Indiana football team as a graduate transfer. That allows him to play immediately at Louisiana in 2020. The upcoming season would serve as his final year of eligibility.

Snyder joined the Indiana football team in 2016. The first three seasons, the Indiana native didn’t see the field. This past season, Snyder appeared in all 13 games.

In 2019, Snyder served as the Hoosiers’ kickoff specialist. In that action, he recorded 24 touchbacks with a 59.9 average on 55 kickoffs.

As you may have inferred, Snyder hasn’t yet attempted a kick, either a field goal of point-after, at the collegiate level.

Snyder was the fifth Indiana football player to enter the portal the past two months.  Included in that are quarterback Peyton Ramsey (HERE), running back Ronnie Walker (HERE), offensive lineman Coy Cronk (HERE) and running back Sampson James (HERE).

Ramsey ultimately made his move on to Northwestern.  Sampson, meanwhile, reversed course and pulled his name out of the NCAA transfer database.

At Louisiana, Snyder will join a roster that includes a pair of kickers. Redshirt sophomore Kenneth Almendares served as the Ragin’ Cajun’s primary kickoff specialist for most of the 2019 season. Last year, Grant Paulette took a redshirt as a true freshman.

Like Snyder, neither Almendares and Paulette has attempted a kick at the collegiate level.

Big Ten extends suspension of all team activities through May 4

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Don’t expect any of your favorite Big Ten sports teams to be back in any sort of action in the month of April. On Friday afternoon, the Big Ten announced it will continue suspending all organized team activities through May 4 before re-evaluating the state of affairs in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is an additional measure to the previously announced cancellation of all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year,” a statement from the Big Ten said on Friday. “The Conference also has previously announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities for the foreseeable future.”

As far as football is concerned, that effectively keeps spring football from becoming a possibility around the conference until May, which makes it seem very unlikely any Big Ten school will get any more spring practices in this year. The Big Ten previously suspended all activities until April 6.

It has seemed unlikely spring football will be able to continue in the Big Ten and every other conference for weeks now as the sports world and beyond continues to adhere to updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control have stressed the urgent need to practice social distancing. And with the United States continuing to see more and more cases and deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, college football is far down on the list of priorities right now.

With the loss of so many spring football practices, coaches are working hard to figure out how to best prepare their respective programs for the upcoming 2020 season, assuming there even is one (one notable college football analyst would be shocked if we do see a football season). One idea that has been mentioned as a possibility would be the addition of more practices or activities during the summer, similar to NFL OTAs and minicamps.

But first, let’s just get this virus under control. If that means locking the country down, as Penn State head coach James Franklin would consider, so be it.

Kirk Herbstreit would be ‘shocked’ if college football is played this fall

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No college football this fall?  The drumbeat for such a possibility grows louder by the day.

In the midst of the growing coronavirus pandemic, Mack Brown earlier this week expressed concern about whether or not the college football season would be played as scheduled.  Whether it would be a partial season.  Or no season at all.

“There is a fear of ‘would we have a season?’ ‘Would we have a partial season?’ ‘What does a partial season mean,’” North Carolina head coach said. “There is a great concern because of the remedy that comes in with football.

“The biggest problem is you’re not sure when it ends, and we can’t get those answers at this point.”

Compared to one prominent college football personality, Brown is downright optimistic.

During a radio interview Thursday night, Kirk Herbstreit was asked about the prospects of teams taking the fall this season.  According to the ESPN television personality, he would be “shocked” if it happened.

“I’ll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I’ll be so surprised if that happens,” Herbstreit stated, by way of TMZ.com.

“Just because from what I understand, people that I listen to, you’re 12 to 18 months from a [coronavirus] vaccine. I don’t know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don’t know how you can do it with the optics of it.”

Because of the cancellation of March Madness, schools saw their revenue distribution from the NCAA drastically diminished.  That is expected to take a heavy toll on non-FBS schools.  If the college football season were to be canceled?  That would severely impact FBS schools, especially those in the Group of Five.

DE Jovan Swann announces grad transfer to Indiana

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Former Stanford defensive end Jovan Swann is heading to the Big Ten. Swann announced on his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon that he going to transfer to Indiana for the 2020 season.

“I have completed my process of finding a home for my final year of eligibility,” Swann said in on his Twitter account. “To all my support system, near and far, ad the rest of Indiana, I am staying home this time and am committed to Indiana University!”

Smith entered the NCAA transfer portal in early Dec. 2019. The move to Indiana will bring the Indiana native much closer to home for his final season of college football.

Swann earned 2018 All-Pac 12 honorable mention and is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic player (2017 and 2018). Stanford recognized Swann for his effort in last year’s rivalry game against Cal by awarding him the team’s Frank Rehm Award, which is given for the Most Outstanding Players in the Big Game. Swann appeared in all 12 games Stanford played last year, and he started nine of them for the Cardinal.

As a graduate transfer, Swann will be eligible to play for the Hoosiers in 2020.