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College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history

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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 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 April 5, 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 hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2018

THE HEADLINE: Bear Bryant’s great-grandson commits to play for Alabama
THE SYNOPSIS: Paul Tyson was rated as a four-star 2019 recruit on the 247Sports.com composite.  The Alabama coaching legend’s kin took a redshirt for his true freshman season after appearing in one game.  He’ll be a part of the competition to replace Tua Tagovailoa under center.  If when prep work for the 2020 campaign restarts, of course.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Ohio State committee approves two-year extension for Urban Meyer
THE SYNOPSIS: The extension would’ve kept Meyer in Columbus through the 2022 season.  Instead, eight months later, Meyer announced he was retiring at the end of the 2018 season.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Penn State trustee who was “running out of sympathy” for “so-called victims” of Jerry Sandusky not seeking second term
THE SYNOPSIS: For once, the shipdit made the right call.

2017

THE HEADLINE: Ex-Oklahoma football player accused of pimping out former Sooner cheerleader
THE SYNOPSIS: There’s a headline you don’t see every day.  Lawrence Moore was a 2013 signee.  The cornerback played in two games as a true freshman for Oklahoma before leaving the program.  Micah Madison Parker was a member of OU’s cheerleading squad during Moore’s lone season with the Sooners.

2015

THE HEADLINE: UGA’s three-man QB battle whittled down to two?
THE SYNOPSIS: Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta and Jacob Park entered the spring as part of the under-center competition.  Exiting, it was down to Bauta and Ramsey.  In the end, neither started the opener.  That honor instead went to Greyson Lambert, who transferred in from Virginia in June.

2012

THE HEADLINE: Updated: Bobby Petrino placed on administrative leave
THE SYNOPSIS: Earlier in the day, the then-Arkansas head coach claimed he was alone on his motorcycle when he wrecked earlier in the month.  As it turned out, a female who wasn’t his wife was on the bike with him.  Jessica Dorrell became the student-athlete development coordinator for football the previous month.  Five days later, Petrino, who admitted to an affair with Dorrell, was fired.

2012

THE HEADLINE: USC it is: top ’13 QB tabs Trojans over Sooners, Tide, Huskies
THE SYNOPSIS: Max Browne chose USC over Oklahoma, Alabama and home-state Washington.  Redshirting as a true freshman, Browne spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons as Cody Kessler’s primary backup. After winning the starting job in 2016, Browne lost his job to Sam Darnold following a 1-2 start.  A few months later, Browne transferred to Pitt.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Big Ten ‘super conference’ talk gaining momentum?
THE SYNOPSIS: The rumor du jour was that the Big Ten would move to 16 teams.  11 teams at the time, the Midwestern conference would instead add just three additional schools.  Nebraska in 2011, and Maryland and Rutgers in 2014.

Clay Helton suggests USC would need minimum four weeks to prepare before opening camp

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How long would it take for a college football program to properly prepare for the 2020 season? That seems to be a question with little consistency right now. But as far as USC head coach Clay Helton is concerned, four weeks would be needed just before getting to fall camp.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Helton said in a phone call this week the Trojans would require a “minimum of four weeks” to get ready to take the practice field whenever the start of the college football practices are given the green light. The idea of having additional practices allowed by the NCAA has been a topic floating around the college football world, and this would certainly help this idea come together.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave the entire sports landscape in a suspended state. The various stay home orders continue to tack on more recommended time in isolation and conferences and universities from coast to coast are continuing to address the situation as they see fit. The Pac-12, for example, recently extended its shutdown of all athletic activities through the end of May. As more time goes by, decisions regarding the start of the college football season are beginning to get more pressing.

Earlier this week, Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour stated Penn State felt it would need approximately 60 days in order to have the program ready for the start of the 2020 season. new Washington head coach Jimmy Lake has suggested the Huskies would be good enough with 30 days of practice before starting a season.

“If we started training camp the way we normally start training camp, I think that almost 30 days is going to be good enough and we can keep the schedule exactly the way it is,” Lake said this week, according to The Seattle Times. “We are constantly trying to keep our team healthy throughout that 30 days of training camp. Every practice is crucial, but I think 30 days will be enough.”

How long the various stay home orders across the nation remain in effect is anyone’s guess at this time, which means whether or not the start of the college football season will be interrupted is also unknown and unpredictable. Here’s hoping there are no delays, but the more important issue at hand for everyone is to make sure the coronavirus is taken care of. Only then, can we think about when football practices will get to commence.

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.

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.

College Football Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history

college football
Getty Images
2 Comments

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 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 March 24, 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 hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Georgia Tech DT Brandon Adams dies
THE SYNOPSIS: Just 21 years old, the defensive lineman died after he collapsed while practicing “step dancing” with friends, hitting his head on the pavement as he fell backwards. It was subsequently reported that “after going into convulsions, he began to foam at the mouth.”

THE HEADLINE: Georgia early enrollee arrested on disorderly conduct charge
THE SYNOPSIS: Tyrique Stevenson was a five-star member of Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class who was the third Bulldog player arrested in a month. As a true freshman, the defensive back played in all 14 games and was the team’s co-winner as Defensive Newcomer of the Year.

2018

THE HEADLINE: In addition to Notre Dame series, Alabama reportedly working on home-and-home with Texas, too
THE SYNOPSIS: Earlier in the day, it was reported that an Alabama-Notre Dame home-and-home was potentially in the works. One month later, that series was confirmed. Two months later, the Alabama-Texas home-and-home was officially announced.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Kentucky signee stabbed six times in weekend incident
THE SYNOPSIS: Jordan Bonner, at home visiting his infant son in a Cleveland (OH) suburb, was stabbed six times in the chest, abdomen and back by an individual who was subsequently arrested and charged with aggravated assault. The charges were eventually dropped as both individuals claimed self-defense. The linebacker recovered from his injuries and went on to play in 11 games as a true freshman.

THE HEADLINE: Nick Saban named one of Fortune’s ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’
THE SYNOPSIS: The Alabama head coach came in at No. 11 on the 50-person list, ahead of the likes of U2 frontman and philanthropist Bono (No. 14), Blackrock CEO Larry Fink (No. 21), Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez (No. 24), Argentine president Maurizio Macri  (No. 26), the first women to graduate from Ranger School (No. 34), the heads of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (No. 41) and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (No. 48).

2015

THE HEADLINE: Surprise! The NCAA went out of bounds on Reggie Bush investigation
THE SYNOPSIS: How ’bout we pick that NCAA scab one more time, Trojan Nation? Not much else to do.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Marshawn Lynch scores TD in Cal spring game
THE SYNOPSIS: A Seattle Seahawks running back at the time, the Cal legend “scored” from 22 yards out as he scampered into the end zone untouched. “We told the guys if anybody tackled him, it was going to be a $25 million fine,” then-head coach Sonny Dykes said at the time. “I didn’t want to be getting a call from Pete (Carroll, Lynch’s NFL coach).

2012

THE HEADLINE: Texas A&M AD on Big 12: ‘I regret that it is coming to an end’
THE SYNOPSIS: A&M’s athletic director at the time, Bill Byrne, may have “regretted” the Aggies’ move to the SEC at the time, but the school’s bank account sure wasn’t. And still isn’t.

2011

THE HEADLINE: Air Force pilots in Ohio State-Iowa flyover flap punished
THE SYNOPSIS: Four Air Force pilots in T-38 fighter jets buzzed Kinnick Stadium in a planned flyover following the playing of the national anthem for the Ohio State-Iowa game Nov. 20 the year before. The only problem? Per regulations, the jets were supposed to be at least 1,000 feet above ground level as they flew over the stadium. As it turns out, they weren’t even close to hitting that mark.

2010

THE HEADLINE: Black recruits urged to avoid Gamecocks
THE SYNOPSIS: Members of the black community in the Palmetto State — including legislators — urged football recruits to stay away from the University of South Carolina. Why? Because the school’s board of trustees was about to lose its lone African-American member.

2009

THE HEADLINE: PAC-10 HIRES HEAD OF WOMEN’S TENNIS TOUR AS COMMISH
THE SYNOPSIS: Larry Scott officially replaced Tom Hansen as the commissioner of the Conference Formerly Known as the Pac-10 on this date. To the bewilderment and/or angst of some, Scott’s remains in his post 11 years later. How much longer his tenure lasts, though, is to be determined.

(*Yes, back in the day, we used to scream out our headlines at our readers in all-caps. The move to NBC a couple of months later ended that practice.)