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.

Police: Washington State safety Bryce Beekman found dead by officer who responded to call involving ‘breathing problem’

Washington State football
Getty Images
1 Comment

There’s been additional light shed on another tragedy involving a Washington State football player.

It was confirmed Wednesday by the Pullman (Wash.) Police Department that Washington State football player Bryce Beekman passed away Tuesday night.  Beekman was just 22 years of age.

The Associated Press reported overnight that “[a] Washington State football player was found dead in his apartment by an officer who responded to a call for help involving ‘breathing problems.'” According to the Pullman Police Chief, Gary Jenkins, there were no signs of foul play.

The coroner told the AP “that the case remains an ongoing investigation and that it may take up to three months to determine the cause of death.”

Early Wednesday afternoon, Wazzu released a pair of statements in the university’s first public comments on Beekman’s passing.

“We are in shock with the news of Bryce’s passing,” said WSU athletic director Pat Chun. “Bryce was a tremendous young man, great teammate and will be missed by all. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to the Beekman family and his many friends.”

“My relationship with Bryce was still in its early stages, but I knew him to be a wonderful young man,” said new Washington State football head coach Nick Rolovich. “He was always positive and well respected amongst his teammates. My heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Beekman was born in Wisconsin and spent his first three years of high school in the state.  He then spent his senior year in Louisiana.

After beginning his collegiate career at an Arizona junior college, Beekman joined the Washington State football program as a three-star 2019 signee. An early enrollee, the 6-2, 190-pound defensive back started all 13 games for the Cougars this past season.

Beekman, who would’ve been a fifth-year senior in 2020, finished the 2019 campaign fifth on the team in tackles with 60.  He was also credited with 2½ tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Washington State football issues statements on death of starting safety Bryce Beekman

Washington State football
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Washington State football has publicly addressed another tragedy that has hit the program.

It has been confirmed by the Pullman (Wash.) Police Department that Washington State football player Bryce Beekman passed away Tuesday night.  Beekman was just 22 years of age.

No details surrounding Beekman’s death have been detailed.  A short time ago, Wazzu released a pair of statements in the university’s first public comments on Beekman’s passing.

“We are in shock with the news of Bryce’s passing,” said WSU athletic director Pat Chun. “Bryce was a tremendous young man, great teammate and will be missed by all. We send our deepest condolences and prayers to the Beekman family and his many friends.”

“My relationship with Bryce was still in its early stages, but I knew him to be a wonderful young man,” said new Washington State football head coach Nick Rolovich. “He was always positive and well respected amongst his teammates. My heart goes out to his family and friends.”

According to the school’s release, Rolovich informed the team of the news Tuesday night.

The school also added that “[a]ll WSU students needing immediate assistance can contact the 24/7 WSU Crisis Line at 509-335-2159. Staff and faculty can receive assistance at the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) State toll-free number at 1-877-313-4455.”

Beekman was born in Wisconsin and spent his first three years of high school in the state.  He then spent his senior year in Louisiana.

After beginning his collegiate career at an Arizona junior college, Beekman joined the Washington State football program as a three-star 2019 signee. An early enrollee, the 6-2, 190-pound defensive back started all 13 games for the Cougars this past season.

Beekman, who would’ve been a fifth-year senior in 2020, finished the 2019 campaign fifth on the team in tackles with 60.  He was also credited with 2½ tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Starting Washington State safety Bryce Beekman dies at 22

Washington State football
Getty Images
1 Comment

As the country continues to come to grips with the coronavirus pandemic, the extended Washington State football family is coming to grips with a tragedy of its own.

The Pullman (Wash.) Police Department confirmed to the Spokane Spokesman-Review that Washington State football player Bryce Beekman passed away Tuesday night.  Beekman was just 22 years of age.

No details surrounding Beekman’s death have been detailed.  And, as of this posting, no Wazzu official has commented publicly on Beekman’s passing.

The safety’s teammates, though, took to Twitter early Wednesday morning to share their thoughts.

This isn’t the first time the Washington State football program has been forced to deal with a tragedy involving one of its players.  In January of 2018, starting quarterback Tyler Hilinski committed suicide.

Beekman was born in Wisconsin and spent his first three years of high school in the state.  He then spent his senior year in Louisiana.

After beginning his collegiate career at an Arizona junior college, Beekman joined the Washington State football program as a three-star 2019 signee. An early enrollee, the 6-2, 190-pound defensive back started all 13 games for the Cougars this past season.

Beekman, who would’ve been a fifth-year senior in 2020, finished the 2019 campaign fifth on the team in tackles with 60.  He was also credited with 2½ tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to all of those impacted by Beekman’s way-too-early passing.