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2020 College Football Thread

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by gucci888, May 13, 2020.

  1. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    It’s not just finding a therapeutic, it’s about testing, manufacturing, distributing, and delivering in numbers large enough to make a difference. (Same with vaccines.) After watching the testing and PPE debacles, the odds are slim that this country under this leadership can handle the logistics of a therapeutic within that time frame even assuming one was developed and tested by June. You’re right in that we don’t know exactly how this will play out by the fall, but we have a pretty good notion and we certainly know magical thinking won’t help.
     
  2. Major

    Major Member

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    "Lets wait and see what we learn" is not magical thinking. It's what 95% of organizations are doing. There's a pretty high likelihood that by September, the vast majority of the country and most universities will be open, regardless of the state of the virus, testing, and cures.
     
  3. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    Few nuggets:

    - SEC is voting next week whether to reopen school facilities on June 1st for voluntary workouts.

    - Big 12’s coronavirus guidelines go through May 31st. They’ll evaluate whether to open facilities up then.

    - Big 12 Commissioner said players will need to report by July 15th if there is any chance football season starts on time.
     
  4. Buck Turgidson

    Buck Turgidson Mineshaft Enthusiast

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    I believe both AtM and LSU have said they're bringing the players into campus on June 1, so they can "quarantine" them there at the athletic dorms...and have workouts and training tables and such. Don't know about the rest of the SEC, but I'd think that's up to the states and/or the institutions.
     
  5. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    Not CFB related but pretty significant step.
     
  6. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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  7. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    More interesting developments out west where SJSU and SDSU have announced they're planning for football in the Fall despite being part of the Cal System. Even more interesting is that they are in the Mountain West whose Commissioner came out and said campuses need to be open and fully operational for any athletics to happen.

    There would be no athletics taking place until campuses are open and fully operational. "Unless they're in full mode with dormitories and housing and all of the other facilities are open, we won't have college athletics," Thompson said April 21. "We will not have college athletics until the campuses are open."

    Honestly sounds like a lot of people will be backtracking on previous comments and stances. Emmert seems to be doing so already somewhat. So many hard line stances and policies being made in an environment that is literally changing on a daily basis.



     
  8. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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  9. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    This week, The Athletic conducted a poll of 45 current college football players from every Power 5 conference, the Group of 5 and the FCS to gauge their thoughts on a return to campus, college football’s regroup and life at home since the shutdown. They were granted anonymity so they could speak freely. Responses ranged from being tinged with the invincibility of youth to reflecting the difficulty of accepting what very real impacts the coronavirus could have on their sport.

    “I think the general consensus is we want to play, but the levels to how badly we want to play and how badly we want to get back to it, it kinda varies,” said a Group of 5 linebacker. “Some dudes are like, ‘**** it, I’m not gonna get sick, let’s play.’ And other dudes will probably be scared to death like, ‘Damn, I don’t wanna get sick, **** that.’ ”

    Almost 80 percent of players surveyed were comfortable returning to campus even if their fellow students were not allowed to do the same. Most universities have already elected to utilize online learning for summer sessions but are wrestling with how to manage an on-campus experience they intend to offer in the fall.

    “If only athletes are on campus, it would not feel like our health is a priority,” said a Power 5 offensive lineman. “With adequate testing available, I am not worried about the return to campus. My biggest concern is what will happen if and when a player tests positive.”

    Said a Power 5 quarterback: “I wouldn’t be concerned unless the numbers of cases suddenly went back up.”

    On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being extremely uncomfortable and 5 being extremely comfortable, zero players said that they would be extremely uncomfortable. Only three rated their comfort level with a return as a 2.

    “Honestly, I’d be fine returning today,” a Power 5 punter said. “If they want us to wear masks and have us have hand sanitizer in every room we walk into to feel better, I’ll do it. I’m just ready for this to be behind us.”

    And if fans can’t attend? Players were nearly split on whether they wanted to play games or delay the season until fans were allowed inside the stadium gates.

    More than half of the players voted to delay the season in that scenario. Of the 45 respondents, 24 said they’d rather delay the season than play without fans.

    “If it’s not safe for fans, it’s probably not safe for players,” said a Power 5 quarterback.

    Added a Group of 5 defensive lineman: “I don’t do everything I do in the summer to not have fans watch us play. If they said half-capacity, then I would say let’s do it.”

    Some just wanted to play at all costs.

    “We love our fans, but I’d have to play the season,” said a Power 5 linebacker. “I’d play without the fans. I love the game too much. I put too much time and effort into it. Fans missing will hurt, but at the same time, this is the game we fell in love with. We didn’t fall in love with it because people were watching back when we were playing as kids.”

    None of the 45 respondents said they had tested positive for COVID-19, but five said someone close to them had contracted the virus. Most players were resigned to the reality that a return to campus means immediate testing followed by frequent follow-ups, as well as a quarantine upon arrival and limited contact with people outside the program. But one player contracting the virus inside the program, especially one not showing symptoms following a test, could ignite a rapid spread once teams resume contact drills or games.

    Here’s a look at the full results of the poll.

    Return to campus and the 2020 season

    On a scale of 1 to 5, how worried are you about getting infected with the coronavirus if you’re asked to report back to school and the team this summer? (1: extremely worried – 5: not at all worried)


    [​IMG]

    Most players were unconcerned with contracting the virus themselves, but several were concerned with what it could mean in their communities.

    “I know it’s a lot of money to do the testing, but it’s worth it to do that than let that virus tear down the university by somebody getting it and spreading it throughout the whole entire city,” a Power 5 linebacker said.

    No players said they were “extremely worried” about contracting the virus.

    “I’m not worried about getting infected,” a Power 5 running back said. “At our age, we don’t die.”

    On a scale of 1 to 5, how comfortable would you be with playing in front of a full stadium or limited-capacity stadium this season? (1: Very uncomfortable – 5: Very comfortable)

    [​IMG]

    Several players felt comfortable that people exhibiting symptoms would not be allowed. Temperature checks at the stadium entrance could aid those efforts. But 38 of 45 respondents described themselves as comfortable playing in a stadium with fans. Only one respondent, a Power 5 quarterback, said he was uncomfortable playing in front of fans.

    “I’d be OK with it in terms of myself. I wouldn’t be worried about me getting sick,” a Power 5 offensive lineman said. “Me being worried about my family getting sick, or other people getting sick? That’s another story.”

    Said one Power 5 defensive back: “I’ll be extremely comfortable. I feel like we’re going to have to live in a world with how to survive with the virus going on. So it wouldn’t bother me, in my opinion. I feel like if they’re going to put 30,000 in there, why not just go ahead and fill up the rest of the stadium? Thirty thousand people is a lot in one area.”

    If it’s deemed unsafe for fans to attend the games in September, would you rather delay the start of the season or play in an empty stadium?

    [​IMG]

    “Being a senior, I’d much rather delay,” an FCS receiver said. “I want to enjoy it for family and friends.”

    Said a Power 5 linebacker: “Football is not football without fans. … There’s no point in playing at home if you can’t even have fans. You might as well play at a neutral site.”

    One Group of 5 defensive end who wants to play regardless said delaying the season could complicate the NFL draft process next spring. “If you have bowl games in January, you have to decide if you’re going to play in that. Then you have pre-draft process as far as finding an agent, signing. Then you have senior bowls, training for the combine and the pro days. Keeping the calendar as is is what’s best for the athletes.”

    On a scale of 1 to 5, how comfortable would you be returning to campus while it remains closed to general students? (1: extremely uncomfortable – 5: extremely comfortable)

    [​IMG]

    Though the prospect of being the lone students on campus has called into question universities’ continued insistence that players are not employees, players themselves were enthusiastic about the prospect of returning to campus without their fellow students.

    Many players noted that they would prefer no students being on campus and would feel more comfortable if that were the case.

    “If one person gets it, it could get through the campus,” said a Power 5 offensive lineman.

    Said a Power 5 quarterback: “If there’s not as many people there then there’s not really as much of a risk of it spreading, and we’d still be able to work on the football side of things.”
     
  10. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    Life during shutdown

    How has your ability to maintain your fitness been impacted while at home?


    [​IMG]

    Most players were able to find alternate means of working out, even if it took a little creativity.

    “I’m not really one to make excuses and be like, ‘damn, these are my circumstances.’ These are everyone’s circumstances and you just gotta work with what you have,” a Group of 5 linebacker said. “I got a cinder block inside a backpack right now. That’s what I’ve got. I’m doing curls, doing it all, I’ll go on walks with it, I’ll carry one in my arms.”

    Said a Power 5 defensive lineman: “You can’t ever match the intensity of working out as a team all together at once, doing the same thing together. You can’t ever match that intensity doing it outside of the walls of the complex. It’s not the same without the whistles blowing, the coaches talking and yelling, the players having that team charisma. I’ve definitely stayed in shape, don’t get me wrong, but I’d say probably 85 percent of what I would’ve accomplished if we were in the walls of the complex.”

    How has your ability to maintain good nutrition been impacted during this time?

    [​IMG]

    “I love to cook,” a Power 5 offensive lineman said. “I’m cooking. I’ve been eating super healthy. I’ve been eating healthier now than I had at school. A lot of times for lunch I’ll eat Chipotle. Dinner time it’s all kinds of stuff. My brother is a really good cook too, and eats pretty healthy. We’ll find different stuff to do with chicken breasts. We’ll air fry them because it’s a lot healthier. Most of the time we’ll eat grilled chicken and we’ll switch up the sides. It’s not bad.”

    Some schools have sent players protein shakes and protein powders to eat after workouts, and some players have saved money by being home and eating their family’s cooking. Some players also noted they have been in constant contact with the nutrition staff at their schools. Others have been asked to weigh in frequently during the shutdown.

    Several players noted the loss of stipends that allow them to pay for groceries or food while on campus.

    Said a Power 5 defensive back: “Being home, I’m not able to do that right now. Also with the quarantine going on, I’m more so afraid to go into a grocery store and just be comfortable in there getting a lot of groceries all the time.”

    How has your ability to maintain your academics been impacted during this time?

    [​IMG]

    A Power 5 offensive lineman: “I was able to get used to it. I think I finished with a 3.4, so I had a pretty solid semester. Took five classes, 15 credit hours.”

    One of the respondents who was severely impacted was a Power 5 linebacker: “Going from a classroom to online where you don’t have a relationship or a connection with your teacher or being able to sit down with them after class really impacted me and my schoolwork.”

    How would you rate the quality of how your coaches have kept you informed throughout the shutdown of activities? (1: poorly informed – 5: well informed)

    [​IMG]

    Players have felt mostly well informed during the shutdown.

    “We’re Zooming and meeting every chance we get within the guidelines,” a Power 5 running back said. “Coaches have talked to us a lot about what’s been happening and what we need to do when we come back.”

    At many programs, players would meet multiple times weekly as a position group. Some programs did large team meetings and some didn’t, but few players expressed concern about being in the dark. Some teams also have had players-only meetings with other team leaders to bring concerns up to coaches.

    However, some issues have emerged.

    One Power 5 linebacker who lives far from his campus expressed concern about the lack of notice between when the decision would be made and when players would be asked to report.

    “If we’re going to be coming back in June, especially June 1, I’d have liked to know sooner to buy my ticket,” he said. “That’s really the only issue I had.”

    Infections

    Have you contracted COVID-19?


    Yes: 0
    No: 45

    Has someone close to you contracted COVID-19?

    Yes: 5
    No: 40

    The survey closed with a pair of open-ended questions:

    What would your school have to do to make you feel your health is protected when you return to campus and/or what are your biggest concerns about returning to football?

    Most players’ answers concerned their programs’ ability to ensure their safety, but admitted the logistics of doing so are complex and uncertain.

    “My biggest concern would be if one person somehow got COVID, it would spread rapidly throughout the team,” a Power 5 linebacker said. “So the response to that scenario would be my biggest concern.”

    No one in college sports has publicly outlined a consistent plan for how to deal with positive tests, though some have reiterated that one positive test can’t result in a total shutdown. Some players agreed. Some wanted to just go back to normal and were concerned that positive tests could result in another stoppage.

    “To put things in perspective for you, at (my old school), we were forced to play through the flu and flu-like symptoms, throwing up, fever, things like that,” a Group of 5 defensive lineman said. “So, nothing really worries me. If I can practice with a 100-degree fever, I can practice through COVID or whatever. Yeah, you have to worry about guys being sick. But I mean whenever guys were, we let each other know, ‘You don’t want to be near me right now, I’m sick,’ which is nice, you know.”

    Most players expressed a desire for their schools to maintain sanitization of facilities, equipment and shared spaces, plus a greater emphasis on handwashing to prevent spread.

    Others emphasized the need for widespread, frequent testing. Otherwise, there’s no way for them to be certain they aren’t interacting with teammates, coaches or team personnel who are infected. Some said that once the team is back on campus, there would need to be restrictions on who they could interact with in order to prevent the virus from infiltrating the roster.

    “There’s a possibility that when we’re together all the time that anything could spread to us,” said a Power 5 tight end. “I think that just might be one of the risks that we have to take. But then again limiting that risk as much as possible.”

    One player assessed the risk as well, noting schools can do everything they can but keeping tabs 24/7 on a roster of 100 players, plus coaches, personnel and others who interact with the team is impossible.

    “I’m pretty sure they’ll find a way to test any and everybody on the team,” said a Power 5 defensive back. “But with that, they don’t know if someone in the team will go somewhere else or be dishonest about that.”

    Most players were confident in global data that shows the risk to most in their age group is low, but with 100 players on 130 different FBS teams, there is potential for cases to turn serious.

    “What of those with pre-existing conditions?” one Power 5 quarterback said. “Even if one or two of them die, and this is more of an ethical debate, but if someone dies, who is responsible for that? Is that on the school?”
     
  11. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    How has this experience changed you?

    Multiple players cited a new appreciation for the experience of college and interaction with their classmates and the campus community.

    “I think it’s really opened my eyes,” a Power 5 linebacker said. “It’s crazy how one small thing can impact the whole world like this. I think it’s crazy how something like this can really put people’s lives in danger, not just physically but mentally, financially.”

    Others cited growth in their own independence while trying to maintain academics and fitness at home.

    “It definitely made me more determined,” a Power 5 offensive lineman said. “Knowing you have to do something and you don’t have the resources to do it, it pushes you even harder.”

    Added a Power 5 defensive lineman: “When you’re left to your own devices, you have to lean on your own will and desire. You don’t have a strength coach breathing down your neck. You don’t have anyone holding you accountable but yourself. It’s been good for me in some aspects. It’s been good that way, but also challenging that way.”

    But as others have been thrust out of the college football bubble and into a real world with suffering — be it physical, mental or financial — all around them, it changed their perspective.

    “It’s made me more aware of real-life situations, like stuff can come to a complete halt, just immediately out of nowhere, and people should be a lot smarter with their finances,” a Power 5 receiver said. “My mom, all she does is watch the news about corona. Every time I come home, I’ll put one foot in the door and she’s telling me to wash my hands, where I’ve been and do this, do that. It’s crazy.”

    But like many Americans, watching the news came with pitfalls. Information about the virus has changed in the past two months, from recommended mask usage to what activities were or weren’t dangerous.

    “I have lost almost all of my trust from major news networks on their ability to provide unbiased information,” a Power 5 linebacker said.

    One Power 5 defensive back also mentioned the amount of “fake news” on the internet.

    For some, it just meant a renewed emphasis on hygiene and handwashing.

    Others grappled with learning how to use their free time, whether that has meant embracing family time at home, video-chatting with friends, video games or other pursuits.

    “It’s made me a lot more accountable” a Group of 5 linebacker said. “Just because all the stuff we do normally, it’s mandatory, right? You have to be there or someone’s gonna be on your ass, cussing you out, you might lose your scholarship, you gotta do extra stuff. At a certain point, you gotta ask, why am I doing this as a person? Why am I playing college football? It’s easy to get into the system and get into the groove of things and say, ‘all right, I’m doing this because I gotta do it, they’re paying for my school and all that, gotta make mom and dad happy.’ But when it’s just you, and they sent like a workout on the app, you can do that **** if you want or you can just let the app run and not do that **** at all. It comes down to how committed are you as an individual to the team and the team’s success?”

    Several players noted that until a vaccine is readily available, they’re stuck in a difficult situation, just like everyone else on the planet. And dealing with the fatigue of a new reality.

    “It’s not like I’m one of those who thinks I’m young, I’ll be fine, I don’t care about it,” a Group of 5 defensive lineman said. “Because I do care about it, I’ve been careful. But it’s gotten to the point where this **** is annoying, and I’d rather get on with my daily life.”

    Any assurance that they’ll be safe from the virus can only carry so much weight.

    “We just want this to be over,” a Power 5 linebacker said. “Everybody wants to have certainty that it’s behind us to where it’s like the flu and you know if you catch it, you can beat it. Nobody wants to go through this. It’s a scary thing. I don’t know if there’s anything a school can do to give you a peace of mind.”

    Some who thought they loved football before are learning what it’s like without the game that’s fueled much of their lives.

    “This would’ve been my fourth year of spring ball,” said an FCS receiver. “I never used to like spring ball. I would’ve loved to have done spring ball. This has taught me to not take things for granted.”

    But one Group of 5 quarterback noted that amid reports of what a season without football would do to their own lives, campuses and local economies, he began to realize just how integral the sport was to the framework of America.

    “Everyone needs it. This country needs football,” he said. “The school needs it, the players, the coaches, it’s such a big business, the fans need it, the trainers, all of that. It’s a crucial sport, a crucial environment for not only the players but all those other people involved.”
     
  12. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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  13. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    My son got a mass email yesterday from Dr. Khator at UH. It sounded like classes with 50 or more students would likely all be done online...and smaller classes would be moved to the largest rooms so they can space out. For him, personally, that means his entire course load would be online.
    Given lead time on when decisions have to be made, I am somewhat doubtful that college football stadiums will open up to capacity in 2020.
     
    Nook and gucci888 like this.
  14. gucci888

    gucci888 Contributing Member

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    That’s gotta be a foregone conclusion if you’re planning for fall sports IMO. Just don’t see how any organization, pro or otherwise, packing 80k-100K into a single place for 4-5 hours.

    Read that UT is also dismissing kids for the semester after Thanksgiving break with online only exams.
     
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