college football
Getty Images

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

7 Comments

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.

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

college football
Getty Images
26 Comments

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.

ACC ends any hope of holding spring football, cancels athletic activities for 2019-20

Getty Images
1 Comment

The ACC extinguished any hope of having spring football in the conference on Tuesday.

Following a host of similar decisions from around the country, the league became the latest to cancel all athletic activities and practices through the end of the academic year:

Following further consultation with the league’s member institutions, and after previously suspending all athletic activities indefinitely, the ACC has made the decision to cancel all athletic related activities including all competition and practice through the end of the 2019-20 academic year. The unanimous decision was made to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19. Each institution will continue to work in accordance with its respective university and state policies related to its individual campus decisions.

“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes as well as our fans, communities and the overall well-being of others during these uncharted times,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “We are particularly disappointed for our student-athletes and will continue to work with our membership to assess what is appropriate in the future.”

Activities and games had previously just been suspended until further notice following the cancelation of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The move comes as every other FBS conference — sans the SEC for the moment — has officially canceled the rest of their spring sports. Almost all have ruled out spring football practice as well.

These are uncharted waters for most athletics administrators but it’s pretty clear from the host of announcements that the next time anybody can hope to see any sort of football being practiced or played is later this summer at the very earliest.

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

College football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.

ACC suspends all athletics activities in wake of Coronavirus, including spring football practice

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The ACC became the latest — and so far the most powerful — to suspend all athletic events on their campuses in order to combat the spreading Coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the United States and the world.

While others Power Five conferences like the SEC and Pac-12 have taken steps to cancel or postpone spring sporting events, the ACC took the extra step of ensuring practices and other gatherings will be suspended as well.

“The Atlantic Coast Conference has suspended all athletic related activities including all competition, formal and organized practice, recruiting and participation in NCAA championships until further notice,” the league said in a statement. “The decision was made following consultation with the league’s presidents and athletic directors to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.”

“This is uncharted territory and the health and safety of our student-athletes and institutions remains our top priority,” Commissioner John Swofford added. “This decision is aimed to protect from the further spread of COVID-19.”

Notably this is the first concrete statement we’ve seen by a conference to limit or postpone spring football practices.

One of the ringleaders in the conference on this entire front may have been Duke, which prior to the league’s announcement had already suspended all athletics activity to combat the Coronavirus. Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, Ohio State and others have also taken various steps to combat the spread of the growing threat from the virus as well.