By Juan Lozano | July 1, 2020
This is going to be the most critical month in college football history. The future of the sport at some schools and the careers of both players and coaches may be determined in the next few weeks.
This is a July unlike any other. Usually, by this time, coaches are on vacation and headed to the “lake” somewhere. (Where this lake is we don’t know, but coaches always seem to be going to it.). The coaches are usually on vacation because camps are over and the fall camp organization and preparation is complete.
Normally, we can say “college football is around the corner.”
This year that is a question.
“College football is around the corner?”
Here is what we know:
– The NCAA permitted teams to begin required summer workouts as early as July 6, 2020.
– Many players have been back on college campus participating in “voluntary” workouts. (Whether they are voluntary or not is a different topic for a different time).
– A number of schools shut down workouts.
– There is no NCAA- mandated testing protocol in place.
This is concerning. We are in July. The first games are set for August 29. Yet there is no way we can be confident about play. We aren’t sure that schools are going to be open.
It’s one thing for people to exclaim that there will be a season. Positivity and sentiment is not enough. Saying the games will be played repeatedly and loudly won’t make it more true.
Will some schools play? Will others not play? We don’t know.
And if they start up again, is there a point where programs shut down again?
This is of significant concern to coaches as they fear facing mandatory furloughs, and salary reductions.
Players have to worry about where they are going to be a month from now and whether they need to transfer to a school that is playing football or even declare for the supplemental draft.
There are many interested parties (players, coaches, administrators, fans) that want to see games played this fall. It appears that there is strong motivation on the part of decision makers to kickoff. I mean who wouldn’t be motivated by the large piles of money in college football?
The money this year is going to be significantly impacted. It’s just a matter of degree of severity.
College football had an attendance issue even before the coronavirus. Playing in front of no fans will severely impact not only football, but all the other sports that football supports. This revenue reality makes it more challenging to keep programs afloat, administration and coaching salaries high. The athletic directors will definitely use this as the excuse to combat paying the players.
A conference-only schedule has been discussed. However, this will reduce the visibility of some programs and schools and eliminate a significant revenue source for some Group of 5 and FCS programs that need these “money games” to keep their athletic departments afloat.
Will some of these football programs be unable to withstand the loss of revenues and cease to exist? It’s possible.
What is the plan going forward? Why haven’t athletic directors been more organized, centralized and focused on their intentions? They want to play, but how do we accomplish this? The only times they seem to rally with such a united plan is when it comes to maintaining the status quo of not paying the players.
We are heading into the unknown. We can speculate about what the 2020 season and the future of football looks like. But right now, in July, we are heading into the season without a gameplan and we need one now, not only for 2020, but for the future of the sport.
Opinions expressed are solely of the author and do not express the views or opinions of Headcoachranking.com.