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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.

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.

LSU confirms its off-campus spring football game has been canceled

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The saga that has been the LSU football spring practice and game has taken an expected twist.

Because of construction at Tiger Stadium, it was announced last month by LSU that its annual spring football game would be moved Southern University, a Historically Black College/University located in Baton Rouge.  Then, in the midst of the growing coronavirus pandemic, LSU had initially decided late last week to continue with spring practice, which had kicked off March 7.  That decision was subsequently taken out of the hands of LSU specifically and the other members of the conference as the SEC suspended all sports activity until at least April 15, including spring football.

Monday, however, LSU athletic director Scott Woodward confirmed that the football program’s annual spring game has indeed been canceled.  Woodward’s confirmation came one day after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a statement in which it recommended that all gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.  Such a timeframe would shut down events such as spring practice until mid-May at the earliest.

“We’ll worry about how we prepare for the fall sports in the appropriate time, whether that’s allowing more practices or it’s doing things differently by sport, but that’s to be determined,” Woodward stated. “I want to assure everyone that we will be back together as an LSU family in due time, but the most important thing, and the priority now, is our collective effort to stop the spread of this virus.”

It’s expected that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, other SEC schools — and the rest of the FBS for that matter — will follow the lead of LSU and cancel their spring football games as well.  In fact, as this post was being written, Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos stated that the Cornhuskers’ spring game won’t be played as scheduled on April 18 “and probably will not occur at all.” Additionally, Louisiana announced that the Ragin’ Cajuns’ spring game has been nixed.

Other schools such as Ohio State (HERE) and Michigan (Michigan (HERE) had previously confirmed that their respective spring games had been canceled.

New CDC recommendation effectively ends any chance of spring practice for college football teams starting back up

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Thanks to the coronavirus, a new reality has slammed headfirst into college football.  Again.

Because of the spread of COVID-19 in this country, Power Five conferences such as the Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 had canceled all spring sports, which included spring football.  The other two college Power Fives, the ACC and SEC, had suspended spring football until at least April 15 for the latter and until further notice for the former.  On top of that, the NCAA has halted all face-to-face recruiting, either on-campus or off, until mid-April.

Sunday evening, however, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ratcheted up the stakes as the agency issued a statement in which it recommended that all gatherings of 50 or more people be canceled or postponed for the next eight weeks.  Such a timeline would take us through the middle of May.  At the earliest.

Boiling it down, any flicker of hope that spring practice in college football will resume has been extinguished.

Below is the full update from the CDC:

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.

Coming out of this crisis, whenever it is, certainly begs the question as to what the NCAA will allow college football teams to do to prepare for the start of the 2020 season.  Summer practices on top of workouts ahead of the start of summer camp?  An extended summer camp?

Or, looking at the glass half-empty, will the 2020 college football season even start on time?

Myriad questions but, at this point, no answers.  Of course, college football being played is the least of worries for a growing number of individuals in this country of ours.

Stay safe, all y’all.