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.

Ex-UConn OL Cam DeGeorge announces grad transfer to Louisville

Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Louisville is about to add an offensive lineman with plenty of starting experience to the nest. Cam DeGeorge announced, via Twitter, he is going to be heading to Louisville to wrap up his college football career.

“Excited to say I will be continuing my academic and football career at The University of Louisville,” DeGeorge announced on Wednesday.

DeGeorge is transferring from UConn, where he was a starter for the majority of his three years with the Huskies. It was reported DeGeorge entered the NCAA transfer portal on Jan. 23. DeGeorge is the latest in a long list of offensive linemen that have been added to the Louisville program since head coach Scott Satterfield was hired by the program. Satterfield’s focus on bulking up the offensive line as quickly as possible has been evident given the number of linemen coming to Louisville through the transfer portal.

Adding a lineman with nearly three years of starting experience is quite a luxury to have for any program. The lack of a spring practice schedule at Louisville means DeGeorge won’t be able to join his new teammates on the practice field until the summer, or whenever football activities are cleared to resume.

As a grad transfer, DeGeorge is immediately eligible to play for Louisville in 2020.

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.

Ohio State will pay UConn $1.95 million for 2025 game

Ohio State
Getty Images
2 Comments

As Ohio State is the latest to attest, the cost of cupcakes and scheduling guaranteed wins is on the rise.  Still.

Early Tuesday afternoon, UConn announced that it has scheduled a 2025 game against OSU.  That non-conference matchup for the Buckeyes will be played Oct. 18 of that season.  Of course, it will be played at The Horseshoe in Columbus.

It’s also a one-off game for both schools as Ohio State will not make a return trip to UConn.

That 2025 matchup will mark the first-ever between the universities in football.

The biggest part of the scheduling news, though, are the financial particulars.  For making the trip west to OSU, UConn is guaranteed a whopping $1.95 million payday.  According to the soon-to-be football independent, that nearly $2 million figure is payable on or before February 28, 2026.

It’s the largest guarantee Ohio State has ever paid for a football game.  As recently as 2014, OSU paid just over $2 million for all three of its non-conference opponents.  Combined.

With the UConn game, OSU has completed its 2025 non-conference.  It had previously been announced that the Big Ten school will open that season against Texas (Aug. 30) before facing Washington two weeks later (Sept. 13).  Both of those games will be played in Columbus.