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Governor asks New Mexico, New Mexico State to postpone start of 2020 football season

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If it’s up to the governor of New Mexico, the start of college football in her state will be delayed.

In the state, COVID-19 positives for people between the ages of 20 and 39 are on the rise.  Earlier this month, that group made up more than 25% of all new cases.  As such, the Albuquerque Journal is reporting, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to the regents and leadership at both New Mexico and New Mexico State requesting that the start of fall contact sports, including football, be suspended.  The regents, it should be noted, are appointed by the governor.

At the moment, it’s just a request, not an order.

“I know what I am asking you to contemplate is difficult and unprecedented, but these are difficult and unprecedented times,” the governor wrote, in part. “Fighting COVID-19 is a team sport. I am asking each of you to join me and take it upon yourselves to do everything you can to fight COVID-19. Together we can protect all New Mexicans, and if we are successful, we can resume contact sports and re-engage in the camaraderie and joy they bring all of us in a safe manner as soon as we can.”

Both UNM…

The health and well-being of our student-athletes and our Lobo community is, first and foremost, our top consideration in how we approach our fall athletic programs. Equally important is ensuring student academic success. We have been in regular communication with the Governor’s office over the past several months, and we sincerely appreciate the guidance her office has provided as we have worked on our plans for fall sports. We expect discussions with the NCAA and the Mountain West Conference to continue over the next couple of weeks as plans for the fall are finalized.

… NMSU…

We are actively monitoring this ever-changing landscape with regard to intercollegiate athletics and following the decisions being made by the NCAA, the conferences, and other associated bodies,” wrote a university spokesman in an email. “We are also in continuous conversation with health experts in the state and on our campus. While we have not yet made any decisions with regard to altering our fall schedule, our commitment is to do what’s best for our student-athletes and our programs.

… responded with their own respective statements.

New Mexico, a member of the Mountain West Conference, is scheduled to open the 2020 college football season Aug. 29 against Idaho State.  Thus far, there has been no public comment from the MWC on the governor’s request.

New Mexico State, meanwhile, plays as a football independent after leaving the Sun Belt following the 2017 season.  NMSU will (possibly) travel to UAB Sept. 3 to open up its season.

New Mexico’s Willie Hobdy enters transfer portal

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New Mexico is bringing back some traditional uniforms, but one of its football players won’t be around to wear them.  Reportedly.

According to 247Sports.com, Willie Hobdy has decided to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database.  The defensive back is one of just three New Mexico football players currently listed in Ye Olde Transfer Portal.

Hobdy will be leaving the Lobos as a graduate transfer.  That will give him immediate eligibility at another FBS school in 2020.  If that’s his next move, of course.

Now, for what’s seemingly becoming a daily disclaimer when it comes to transfers.

As we’ve stated myriad times in the past, a player can remove his name from the portal and remain at the same school. At this point, though, other programs are permitted to contact a player without receiving permission from his current football program.

NCAA bylaws also permit schools to pull a portal entrant’s scholarship at the end of the semester in which he entered it.

Hobdy came to the New Mexico football program from Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.  In 2017-18, the Texas native appeared in 18 career games for the Lobos.  He started on of those contests, that coming in 2017.  Despite that experience, Hobdy didn’t record any statistics this past season at UNM.

During his time in Albuquerque, Hobdy was credited with 19 tackles and two forced fumbles.

Last year, Hobdy was part of the track team at UNM.  He participated in the triple jump in three indoor meets.

NCAA Council formally approves six-week preseason model for football, which will begin July 13 for teams that start season Sept. 5

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The NCAA is proceeding with a significant step toward prepping for the 2020 college football season.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the NCAA Div. I Oversight Committee was crafting a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.  Last week, the NCAA announced that it has finalized its proposal for a preseason model for the sport.  However, the plan still needed the approval of the NCAA Division I Council.

Thursday, that expected thumbs-up came to fruition as the council has approved what will essentially be a six-week preseason for college football.  The NCAA writes that, “[a]ssuming a first game on Sept. 5, the model begins summer access activities July 13 and adds meetings and walk-throughs July 24.  Preseason practice begins Aug. 7.” Schools that open the seasoning Week 0 (Aug. 29), all of the dates would get seven days subtracted from them.  It’s unclear if teams whose first games are Sept. 3 will follow the Sept. 5 model or not.

The activities mentioned do not include the ongoing voluntary on-campus workouts.

As for the particulars?  The NCAA referred to its previous release as a guideline:

… student-athletes may be required to participate in up to eight hours of weight training, conditioning and film review per week (not more than two hours of film review per week) from July 13-23.

Then, from July 24 through Aug. 6, student-athletes may be required to participate in up to 20 hours of countable athletically related activities per week (not more than four hours per day) as follows:

— Up to eight hours per week for weight training and conditioning.
— Up to six hours per week for walk-throughs, which may include the use of a football.
— Up to six hours per week for meetings, which may include film review, team meetings, position meetings, one-on-one meetings, etc.
— During this 14-day period, student-athletes are required to get at least two days off.

The model does not make any adjustments to the legislated 29-day preseason practice period. In the previous example, the school’s preseason practice period would begin Aug. 7 with a five-day acclimatization period, followed by the opportunity for up to 25 on-field practices.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Urban Meyer proclaiming his 2008 Florida ‘the best to ever play the game’

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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 June 16, 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: Trevor Lawrence once again says he has no desire to skip bowl games to protect NFL stock
THE SYNOPSIS: Lawrence has been consistent with this stance throughout.  He’ll have one more “test” after this season before likely becoming the No. 1 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer officially names Dwayne Haskins Ohio State’s starting QB heading into training camp
THE SYNOPSIS: Haskins beat out Joe Burrow for the starting job.  Burrow, as you may have heard, transferred from OSU to LSU after it became apparent Haskins was the man under center for the Buckeyes.  In his lone season as the full-time starter, Haskins threw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns.  Last year, Burrow was even better as he totaled 5,671 yards and  60 touchdowns en route to the Heisman Trophy and national title.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Art Briles not going quietly as ex-coach accuses Baylor of wrongful termination
THE SYNOPSIS: Too bad for all involved the disgraced head coach didn’t just shut up and go away.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Joe Paterno to be inducted into Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
THE SYNOPSIS: Speaking of disgraced head coaches…

2014

THE HEADLINE: Urban Meyer: ’08 Gators ‘the best team to ever play the game’
THE SYNOPSIS: Needless to say, this proclamation kicked up quite the kerfuffle.  And the mid-nineties Nebraska teams were better anyway.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Johnny Manziel ‘can’t wait to leave College Station’
THE SYNOPSIS: Johnny Football gonna Johnny Football, y’all. Manziel quickly deleted the tweet that contained the statement.  In its place, Manziel tweeted, “Don’t ever forget that I love A&M with all of my heart, but please please walk a day in my shoes.”

2012

THE HEADLINE: Coach K: firing of Joe Paterno ‘horrible… a real mistake’
THE SYNOPSIS: Mike Krzyzewski wasn’t a fan of Penn State’s decision.  Most non-Penn State fans weren’t a fan of the Duke hoops coach’s opinion.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Saggin’ drawers net grieving Lobo an arrest
THE SYNOPSIS: Offseason headlines, y’all!

2010

THE HEADLINE: It’s official: Pac-10 extends invite to Utah
THE SYNOPSIS: The Utes left the Mountain West to join what’s now the Pac-12.

NCAA Oversight Committee crafting six-week practice period ahead of start of season

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The on-ramp to the 2020 college football season is coming into focus.

A significant milestone was reached last month when the NCAA announced it would allow member institutions to commence voluntary on-campus workouts June 1.  June 17, the NCAA Division I Council is expected to vote on a plan that would shape the path college football programs would take to prepare for the upcoming season.

That plan is currently being crafted by the NCAA’s Division I Football Oversight Committee. A draft of that group’s plan is expected to be finalized this Thursday, June 11.  The committee will then submit their plan to Div. I Council for approval.

As it stands now, ESPN.com is reporting, the committee is working on what would be a six-week run-up to the upcoming college football season.  For schools that begin the next campaign Labor Day weekend, the current proposal calls for mandatory workouts to commence July 13, followed by enhanced training July 24.  A standard summer camp would then kick off Aug. 7.  During the mandatory workouts and enhanced training, players will not be permitted to wear either helmets or pads,  They will, though, be permitted to use footballs.

Coaches, who, other than strength staff, can’t oversee the current voluntary workouts, would be permitted to take part throughout the entire six-week practice period being developed.

Of course, the schools scheduled to start the college football season the week before Labor Day — Notre Dame-Navy in Annapolis included — would see the three phases of the plan initiated earlier.  Whether it’s exactly a week earlier remains to be seen, although that would make the most sense.

As we stated earlier, the plan is still being crafted.  Therefore, it isn’t finalized.  In that vein, the first phase, the mandatory workouts, could be shortened.  From ESPN.com:

West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, who is chair of the Football Oversight Committee, told ESPN’s Andrea Adelson that there is one area that might change between the proposed calendar and what gets approved on Thursday, and that is shortening the window between the start of required workouts on July 13 and the start of enhanced training on July 24.

“Some people are thinking the summer access is too long,” Lyons said, based on feedback the committee has already received. “There’s a concern by making that part a requirement, it extends it to too long a period and whether that should be adjusted to make it shorter. Instead of starting on the 13th, start on the 20th. I haven’t heard of all the concerns and that’s why it was put out to the conferences, to start getting more input.

Again, final approval from the Council is slated to be announced two weeks from Wednesday.  At that time, we’ll have a greater understanding as to exactly what the prep work for the upcoming college football season will entail.  Provided there is a 2020 college football season, of course.