CU At The Game Podcast Companion – Episode 11

Here are some of the stories referenced in the CU at the Game Podcast, Episode 11: “Where do we go from here? Chaos in collegiate athletics and its affect on CU football

CU Buffs’ Rick George: College football needs universal leadership

From the Daily Camera … When the Pac-12 made the decision to postpone all sports competitions through the end of the year, conference leadership said it was a unanimous decision.

“We all recognized this was the morally correct thing to do,” Oregon president Michael Schill said.

Football Bowl Subdivision conferences haven’t been as agreeable.

The Big Ten has made the same decision as the Pac-12, along with the Mountain West and Mid-American conferences. The other six Football Bowl Subdivision conferences, however, are pressing forward.

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“Neill Woelk: It’s Time For Centralized Leadership In College Football” 

From … When it comes to college football, if there is anything we have learned over the last week — actually, over the course of the summer — the lesson is this:

The sport needs a singular voice. One room, one entity, — heck, one person — from which/whom directives and rules will emanate.

Not guidelines. Not suggestions. Not recommendations or advice — and definitely not, “Well, we’re going to leave it up to the conferences to decide how they want to proceed.”

But rules and regulations that are enforced. “Here is what the conferences are going to do. Period.”

NCAA basketball has such a person. Dan Gavitt, the NCAA Senior VP for basketball, sets down the law. Of course Gavittt receives suggestions, discusses issues and listens to stakeholders. He is a leader.

But when the rubber hits the road, he’s the man behind the wheel — and every NCAA basketball member follows that same road.

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“Led by Ohio State QB Justin Fields, Big Ten players petition to reinstate the 2020 football season” 

From CBS Sports … It’s been clear since the beginning of August that Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields wants to play football in 2020. Now, he’s putting proverbial pen to paper to try to make that happen. The preseason Heisman Trophy candidate has created a petition requesting that the Big Ten immediately reinstate football for the fall.

“We, the football players of the Big Ten, together with the fans and supporters of college football, request that the Big Ten Conference immediately reinstate the 2020 football season,” the petition reads. “Allow Big Ten players/teams to make their own choice as to whether they wish to play or opt out this fall season. Allow Big Ten players/teams who choose to opt out of playing a fall season to do so without penalty or repercussion.”

Fields followed up on Monday with a message to Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and NCAA chief medical officer Dr. Brian Hainline in an appearance on ESPN.

“My biggest message to them is, really, to get them to realize how bad our players want to play,” he said. “The guys who have come back for their fifth year off of injury, we owe it to those guys the most. I have seen behind the scenes all the work that they have put in and how much they really care about it. I believe the coaches and all of the parents of players want us to play. They all feel safe with the guidelines that Ohio State has set.”

The petition had nearly 230,000 signatures as of 10 a.m. ET Monday.

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“Pac-12 Conference postpones all sport competitions through end of calendar year”

From the Pac-12 … The Pac-12 CEO Group voted unanimously to postpone all sport competitions through the end of the 2020 calendar year.

The decision was made after consultation with athletics directors and with the Pac-12 COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee who expressed concern with moving forward with contact practice.  The report and updated guidelines of the Committee can be found here: Pac-12 COVID-19 Return to Play Considerations – Aug. 10, 2020 and a full list of Committee members can be found here: Pac-12 Medical Advisory CommitteeThe Conference also announced that when conditions improve, it would consider a return to competition for impacted sports after January 1, 2021.

Student-athletes impacted by the postponement will continue to have their scholarships guaranteed.  Additionally, the Pac-12 Conference strongly encourages that the NCAA grant students who opt out of competition this academic year an additional year of eligibility.  As part of their guaranteed scholarships, they will continue to have university support, including academic advising and tutoring, among other support services.

“All of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors understand the importance of this decision, and the disappointment it will create for our student-athletes, the coaches, support staff and all of our fans,” said Michael H. Schill, president of the University of Oregon. “Ultimately, our decision was guided by science and a deep commitment to the health and welfare of student-athletes. We certainly hope that the Pac-12 will be able to return to competition in the New Year.”

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“CU Buffs plans won’t change amid the postponed season”

From Sports Illustrated … Head coach Karl Dorrell expressed his disappointment on Wednesday about the postponement of the Pac-12 college football season.

“As much as I am a competitive man and I want a competitive program and be successful, it still comes down to the well-being of our student athletes,” Dorrell said. “I did think there was some cause with the information that was portrayed to us in our meetings.”

Dorrell told reporters he was a proponent of playing in the fall, even if it was a shortened season, but the medical advice of the team doctors and the Pac-12 medical advisory board made him understand the consequences of a fall football season.

“I’ve always been a proponent since I’ve been hired here to play this fall all the way up to the end,” Dorrell said. “I just wanted to play. I think our team like I mentioned to you, was 100% all-in on playing this fall.”

The postponement creates uncertainty for players and coaches, who don’t know what a spring season will look like, or even if there will be a spring season.

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“Purdue coach Jeff Brohm creates plan for spring football”

From ESPN … Like many Big Ten coaches, Purdue’s Jeff Brohm was disappointed and angry upon learning the league had postponed the fall football season. He channeled those emotions into crafting a detailed plan for a spring season.

Brohm’s proposal outlines an eight-game season beginning Feb. 27 and finishing April 17, with postseason play wrapping up by May 15. He also outlines a slightly truncated fall 2021 schedule that would feature 10 games and begin Oct. 2 after a four-week training camp. Both plans include playoff options of four or six teams.

“When it got canceled, it was heartbreaking,” Brohm told ESPN. “You feel for guys that have worked their whole lives to get a chance to play football, and now they don’t have that. It made me angry, and it made me want to just do something about it. That’s why I put this together.”

The players’ health is the main concern with potentially playing two seasons during one calendar year, and that shaped Brohm’s thinking. His plan significantly reduces padded, contact practices over a two-season stretch — from 114 to 52 for teams not participating in bowl games, and from 144 to 64 for teams that reach bowls — and includes three months off after the spring 2021 season. Teams would be allowed only one padded practice per week during the season.

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