POSTED: September 4, 2020

Pac-12 Notes


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Pac-12 Notes

September 4th 

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Utah furloughs ENTIRE athletic department (including AD and coaches)

From KUTV.com … The University of Utah will furlough every employee in its athletic department, including Athletic Director Mark Harlan and team coaches because of financial shortfalls in a global pandemic.

Harlan released a statement about the furloughs Friday and said the decision was “difficult — but necessary” to mitigate the financial impact of the loss of games because of COVID-19.

“These changes include furloughs of various lengths for every Department employee—including me, our executive cabinet and our head and assistant coaches. In addition, in some select cases, we have also eliminated positions through reductions in force. We also have eliminated all performance bonuses until further notice,” Harlan said in a statement.

Finances were impacted after spring sports were cancelled for the U of U and then football and other fall sports were cancelled Aug. 11 by the Pac-12 conference. Football is a revenue generator for the university and the athletic conference that paid member schools significant money from television and other revenue streams from games. Football coach Kyle Whittingham is among the highest paid state employees in Utah.

Yahoo finance listed his salary making $3.7 million in 2018.

Harlan’s statement is as follows:

“As I have previously shared, the financial challenges that we are facing at Utah has led us to make difficult—but necessary—decisions to mitigate the financial impacts of the pandemic. These changes include furloughs of various lengths for every Department employee—including me, our executive cabinet and our head and assistant coaches. In addition, in some select cases, we have also eliminated positions through reductions in force. We also have eliminated all performance bonuses until further notice.

“These decisions were not based on employee performance, but rather reflect the significant financial shortfall we face as well as the realities of the postponement of fall sports competition. We are prioritizing the areas of our athletics operations that directly support our student-athletes.”

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September 4th

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Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin says two SEC coaches have told him “no way they could play a game this week”

From 247 Sports … With college football right around the corner, teams are doing all that they can in order to maintain a healthy roster amid the COVID-19 pandemic. And while things appear to be moving in the right direction in regards to playing the season, the challenges of maintaining a healthy roster are getting tougher.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin joined the Pat McAfee Show on Thursday to discuss a variety of topics about the upcoming football season. While talking about the COVID-19 pandemic, Kiffin mentioned that two SEC schools told him on Thursday morning that if they had to play a game today, they could not actually field a team.

“This isn’t 100 percent,” Kiffin said on the show. “You know, we’ve still got a ways to go to get through this because there are some teams right now in the SEC — you know, I heard from two coaches today, that there’s no way they could play that game this week.

Luckily for SEC schools, there is still plenty of time remaining before the 2020 season officially starts for SEC teams. Because of the pandemic and the impact it had on the sport, the SEC has elected to play a 10-game, conference-only schedule. While some Power Five games are set to be played next week, the SEC won’t be kicking off until September 26.

The SEC is regarded as the top conference in college football and so a conference-only schedule will no doubt be taxing to teams, as no break will be given to those teams in conference play. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey shared those same sentiments recently.

Last Saturday, Sankey joined CBS Sports to discuss what the league’s 10-game schedule will look like. The conference designed it to make sure it could safely play a full season, even if some speed bumps did arise. The two extra conference games will create some extra landmines when it comes to playoff resumes, but fans will enjoy watching the beefed up slates each weekend.

Continue reading story here

Larry Scott: “High degree” of confidence in January start for football

From 247 Sports … On Thursday, the Pac-12 Conference announced a new partnership for COVID-19 testing that will provide additional resources for on-campus testing by the end of the month. According to Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, all conference schools will be able to have rapid testing available on campus as soon as the end of September.

During a press webinar, Scott noted that rapid testing could provide results in 15 minutes and are able to be administered in the training rooms of the athletic programs. When the Pac-12 decided to postpone the 2020 season in August, the conference did not expect to have rapid testing available until late November.

With expanded testing becoming available to all Pac-12 schools by the end of the month, Scott called the development a “game-changer” in regards to playing football again sometime soon. On Friday, Scott made an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show and revealed when he believes the Pac-12 will be able to play football again.

“Well right now, I’ve got a high degree of confidence that we’re going to be playing (football) in January,” Scott said. “It possible because of this announcement we could play sooner. I think the significance of yesterday’s announcement, having access to this testing, I can look you in the eye virtually and tell you I’ve got a high degree of confidence we’re playing. We’re going to have a full, exciting season for our student-athletes. Well, I shouldn’t say full as in playing 12 games, I think it will be abbreviated like it is in other conferences.”

While the Pac-12 believes that the rapid testing could bring back sports sooner than the January 1st, 2021 timeline set in August but Scott added that there are still more hurdles to clear.

Continue reading story here

NCAA: Conferences playing in the spring can have a 15-practice “fall camp” and an eight-game schedule

… If a conference (Big Ten – cough, cough) decides to play by Thanksgiving, they get no “fall camp” run up … 

From ESPN … The Football Oversight Committee on Thursday agreed to recommend to the Division I Council a spring-season model for conferences that push their seasons to spring of 2021. It includes 15 practices in 29 days and an eight-game season that must end by April 17.

Any other conferences that have postponed their season because of the coronavirus pandemic but decide to resume playing games earlier than next spring will not be able to use the 15-practice model, but it will be recommended all leagues that have postponed will have 13 weeks to complete their seasons.

The committee will also ask the Council to extend the recruiting dead period to Oct. 31 and to eliminate the evaluation period for football in the fall.

The Division I Council is expected to vote on the recommendations at its Sept. 16 meeting.

West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, the chair of the FOC, told ESPN that the committee wanted to give any conferences that are not playing the flexibility to determine their schedule, but he said that for any leagues pushing their season back to the spring, it would be an eight-game schedule. Any conferences that start earlier can play more games within their allotted 13 weeks.

If the Big Ten or any other league resumes play in late November, it wouldn’t be allowed to use the proposed practice format of 29 days to have 15 practices, as is the case during a typical spring season. Only teams that push the season to spring of 2021 would be able to make use of that model.

Continue reading story here

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September 3rd

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Pac-12 announces groundbreaking testing research initiative; Rapid-results test could speed the return of sport competitions

Press release from the Pac-12 … The Pac-12 Conference announced today that it has entered into an agreement with diagnostic test leader Quidel Corporation to implement up to daily testing for COVID-19 with student-athletes across all of its campuses for all close-contact sports.

The agreement is a major step toward the safe return of sports competition in the Pac-12. The arrangement with Quidel will provide for frequent testing with rapid results, which had been one of the key concerns in the prior decision by the Pac-12 to postpone sport competition.  The testing will also significantly reduce the number of contact traces required and the breadth of contact tracing required, with the goal of relieving some of the burden on local health authorities, as a result of removing or significantly limiting the spread of infection through athletics activity.  Any return to competition is subject to requisite approvals from public health officials.

Quidel’s Sofia 2 testing machines and tests are expected to be delivered to each of the Pac-12’s athletic departments by the end of September 2020.  Over the coming weeks, the Pac-12 plans to review this latest testing breakthrough with its sport planning committees and to evaluate the impact on return to competition scenarios.
“This is a major step toward the safe resumption of Pac-12 sport competitions,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “The availability of a reliable test that can be administered daily, with almost immediate results, addresses one of the key concerns that was expressed by our medical advisory committee, as well as by student-athletes, coaches and others. At the same time, our partnership with Quidel, the industry leader in point-of-care antigen testing, will provide crucial research data that will benefit our members’ communities as well as the entire country.”
Douglas Bryant, Quidel’s president and CEO, said: “We are pleased to participate in this innovative arrangement that will help protect Pac-12 student-athletes and allow them to return to play while contributing to further understanding of the COVID-19 virus that will benefit all of society. With its well-established medical research program, the Pac-12 is an ideal partner to help us develop and document the most effective coronavirus testing protocol to serve our families and communities.”
Directly Addresses Concerns
At the time the Pac-12 CEO Group voted to postpone sport competitions, they cited the need for “more frequent testing, performed closer to game time, and with more rapid turn-around time”, particularly in light of the uncertainties regarding the long-term effects of COVID-19. The access to daily testing addresses those concerns, Scott noted.
The Pac-12/Quidel testing program will be key to research efforts coordinated by the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health and Well-Being Initiative (SAHWBI) as well as the Conference’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Committee, which has been advising the Conference on COVID-19 issues. The Pac-12 SAHWBI’s Research Grant Program was established by the Conference and its member universities in 2013 and has studied brain trauma, mental health, cardiovascular health, and other health and wellness issues.
A key focus of the Pac-12 SAHWBI’s independent research initiative will be to document and determine if a testing protocol that involves point-of-care rapid testing immediately prior to practice or competition can decrease or eliminate the risk of infection from sport interaction as has been proposed by some experts.  .
“This is an opportunity to get our athletes back to activity in a careful and controlled manner while monitoring outcomes.   It is win-win for athletics and to better our understanding of strategies to prevent spread during sports,” said Dr. Kimberly Harmon, section head of sports medicine for the University of Washington.
Dr. Doug Aukerman, Oregon State senior associate athletic director of sports medicine and chair of the Pac-12 SAHWBI Board, added: “This will allow us to learn even more about the behavior of the virus, especially in asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. The implication is that this can inform the broader medical community on asymptomatic cases as well as our care and treatment for student-athletes.”
In addition to significantly decreasing the risk of spreading the infection in student-athletes, coaches and staff members through sport, a daily testing protocol will also reduce the potential burden on local health authorities to carry out widespread contact tracing.
“Pac-12 universities and their medical research centers are performing significant and important research to better understand and combat COVID-19,” added Scott.  “The study to be conducted with Quidel fits into the broader educational and research missions of our universities, and will provide important new data and information that will be beneficial to society more broadly.”

NY Times posting a series providing “an inside-out view” Cal’s handling of the pandemic

From the New York Times … In the coming weeks and months, The New York Times will be inside Cal athletics, virtually and on campus — in Zoom meetings, budget discussions and team workouts. The goal is to provide an inside-out view of the unprecedented challenges facing one university — but, really, all of them.

The hurdles at Cal are both reflective of other top-level college athletic programs and unique to the Golden Bears. Cal is a member of the Pac-12 Conference, which dominates the college sports scene on the West Coast. Its athletic department is bigger than most: 30 sports, 300 employees, 850 athletes and a $100 million annual budget.

But athletics hardly define Cal, one of the premier public universities in the nation. It is the flagship of the enormous and prestigious University of California system. It is situated in the heart of the Bay Area, where college sports fight for attention. Its athletic department is perpetually in the red.

In other words, Cal represents both success and struggle in college athletics. And the pandemic — along with other major issues of 2020, like fights over social justice — is exposing all of it.

A third-year athletic director is overseeing a crumbling budget that threatens to rearrange the department and its priorities for years.

Coaches are trying to guide athletes through sports that have had seasons cut short or canceled, and are now juggling crushed hopes and uncertain rosters.

Hundreds of athletes are wondering if it’s the right thing to go to campus, to play, to travel, to study.

The ripple effects can be felt on academics, sports medicine, facilities, training, equipment, recruiting, fund-raising and alumni relations. They have dealt an unmeasurable blow to momentum and mental health.

There are meetings with head coaches, teams, department heads. There are social justice meetings, parent meetings, online fan fests. There was the opening-week Big C Kickoff, where Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton gave a pep talk and led an online trivia game with about 700 athletes.

On the opening night of classes, he had Zoom meetings with alumni groups in Orange County and in San Diego. He meets with donors, sometimes individually.

“When you get a crowd of big donors, they ask the hard questions,” Knowlton said. “Last night, a guy said, ‘Jim, I’ll give, but only if you give me good news.’”

Always, they ask: Will there be a football season?

It was the first day of fall classes. Knowlton stood in a portal of an empty football stadium, wearing a mask.

“I think we’ll definitely have some type of season in the spring,” he said.

It was as much of a commitment as anyone could make.

Read full story here

Pac-12 coaches: “If everybody’s not involved. How is there a true champion?”

From 247 Sports … The Pac-12 appears firm in their stance of not reversing course and having a fall football season. The Big Ten, the other Power Five conference to cancel their fall football season, continues to face backlash over the decision and could ultimately start in January, on Thanksgiving or ultimately October 10th, according to various reports and refutes.

But for the schools out west, they’re hoping a spring football season is viable but want it to be treated like a normal football season, as in championships and recognition. In a report from ESPN’s Heather Dinich, coaches, such as Clay Helton (USC), David Shaw (Stanford) and Kyle Whittingham (Utah), believe the Pac-12 (and the Big Ten) should be factored into the national champion conversation whether it’s by association or have two separate champions for the season.

Helton said he’d leave it up to the “powers that be” and just wants to get his kids back on the field as soon as possible.

“The reality of the situation is we don’t know what the future holds, for not only the conferences that are playing, but the conferences that aren’t playing,” Helton said to ESPN. “We’ve got our fingers crossed we can do something come winter or spring, but things are going to have to trend in the right direction for that to happen. For us, I’m just looking forward to having the next opportunity to compete, and allow the kids to get on the field, whether that’s winter or spring or fall of ’21 — that’s my main concern. I’ll let the powers that be decide how we end up deciding a national champion.”

For Shaw, he believes the Pac-12 and Big Ten, since they are 40 percent of the Power Five, must be factored into any type of national champion discussion.

“It has to be factored in that these two conferences in particular are major conferences and always deserve an opportunity to win a national championship when they play,” Shaw said. “We’ve all bought into the CFP. If by the end of the winter, if there’s someone who has merit, they deserve recognition.

“If we’re going to ask these student-athletes to play this great and wonderful and difficult game, there needs to be a purpose. All of our young people, they want championships. They want to play for conference championships and a shot at a national championship. If we’re going to play, these young men deserve to be rewarded if they play well.”

Whittingham kept it simple: there’s not going to be a true champion this year.

“If everybody’s not involved,” Whittingham said. “How is there a true champion?”

Continue reading story here

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September 2nd

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With a week to go before the first Power Five game, cancellation policies not yet in place

From The Athletic … For Manny Diaz, kickoff is a mere eight days away. Miami is playing the very first Power 5 college football game on the 2020 schedule, a Thursday night season opener against UAB. These long months of carefully preparing for this unpredictable season are about to finally pay off with an actual game.

There’s just one detail — and it’s a pretty important one — that still needs to get sorted out. Diaz is about to be the first Power 5 head coach to have to confront a question that hangs over this season: What would it take for the game to get postponed?

“That’s a fantastic question,” Diaz said.

A fantastic answer has not yet emerged. The first FBS football games kick off Thursday. The first weekend of ACC and Big 12 games is fast approaching. But the policies that determine whether it’s safe enough for those games to kick off remain a work in progress.

The topic of each conference’s postponement policy evokes a wide range of opinions and concerns. How many players does a college football team need to play a game? How few can it have at each position before playing becomes unsafe? How and when will these schools and conferences decide to call off a game? It’s an issue that blends policy and strategy, and there’s no simple, perfect answer. That’s why many of the remaining six Football Bowl Subdivision conferences do not have a formal policy to announce yet. And what they may announce publicly may be, frankly, underwhelming.

A league source indicated that the ACC’s policy will not include any numbers in its protocols, no number of positive cases or players unavailable that would automatically trigger a game’s shutdown. AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said much of the same, saying that his league did not want to set benchmarks that are specific numbers. Conference USA and the Sun Belt are arriving at similar conclusions.

Aresco sees this as more of a weeklong collaborative process. He expects to have calls with both schools’ athletic directors for each game, along with an expert from the AAC’s medical advisory group, throughout the week. Together, they’ll work to determine whether each game is playable.

“We want to look at the nuances,” Aresco said Tuesday, four days before both SMU and Memphis kick off their season. “You’re going to look at your contact tracing. You’re going to look at the number of players in quarantine, if any. You’re going to look at all those things, but … this is a very subjective situation.

“We’re doing PCR testing twice a week and then we’re looking at an antigen test at the end of the week, and it would be a rolling process. There will be meetings early in the week. Obviously, Friday is a big day because then you analyze your (PCR) tests from Wednesday/Thursday testing, and then if you do antigen testing, you’d have another indicator. It’s going to be a rolling process; there is going to be communication all week. If any red flags appear, you analyze them and see where you are. We’ve got a medical group that’s going to be essentially on call pretty much every day the rest of the way.”

This means that it’s quite possible two opposing teams can get all the way to Friday afternoon, on the eve of a gameday, and not know for sure whether they will play. Fans might have to get used to this, too, particularly if these decisions aren’t dictated by explicit rules. Administrators had speculated for much of the summer that there would be specific thresholds for a critical number of unavailable players, such as 20 percent of the roster.

Without those types of strict benchmarks, everything could get messier and murkier.

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

Iowa State to allow 25,000 fans in the stand for home opener next weekend

From Sports Illustrated … Iowa State will allow fans to attend its season opener at Jack Trice Stadium next month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cyclones announced Monday that approximately 25,000 spectators are expected to attend their Sept. 12 matchup against Louisiana.

In a letter to fans, athletic director Jamie Pollard said the crowd will consist of season ticket holders only. Everyone in attendance must wear a face covering at all times, and anyone who refuses to wear one will be denied access and/or removed from the stadium. No tailgating will be permitted, and Pollard asked everyone to “honor other fans’ wishes for physical distancing.”

“An important factor in the decision to allow fans is our belief that Cyclone fans are willing to adhere to our mitigation measures,” Pollard wrote. “The purpose of this letter is to ask for your support in helping create a safe environment while also providing our team an impactful home field advantage. This is an incredible opportunity for Iowa State University to showcase its ability to successfully navigate the challenges associated with large outdoor events during a pandemic.”

Pollard said if the mitigation actions are successful, the Cyclones will allow season ticket holders to attend the Oct. 3 game against Oklahoma. If Iowa State determines mitigation measures were not followed adequately at the first game, no fans will be allowed at games for the rest of the season.

Continue reading story here

NY Times: “College Football is Not Essential” (with rebuttal)

From Sports Illustrated … Before we begin today’s visit, I want you to know two things:

**–I love college football. For 45 years my professional life has been built around this time of year. So trust me when I tell you that nobody wants there to be a college football season more than your humble scribe.

**–Having said that, the health and well-being of the players, coaches, and staff is more important than anyone’s desire for a football season. So if the day before the first games the medical people say you can’t go, then you don’t go.

I made those two points to set up this: On Sunday, the New York Times editorial board published an opinion piece entitled: “College Football is Not Essential.”

The sub-head was: “Why are some schools pressuring student-athletes to play a game that could expose them to the coronavirus?”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/opinion/sunday/college-football-covid.html

First of all, I spent 35 years in the newspaper business. I understand the importance of editorial boards who interview those in power and then weigh-in on the issues of the day.

However, I would take issue with the claim that athletes are being pressured to play. Earlier this year the players were told that they had the opportunity to “opt out” of playing the season and many, especially those who project to be first-round draft choices next April, have chosen to do that. Players who opt out know that they will not lose a year of eligibility and will keep their scholarships.

Just yesterday LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s best wide receiver, announced that he was leaving his team to get ready for the NFL Draft. Chase already has a national championship and has proven that he is the best at his position in college football. He had nothing left to prove. That was the right decision for him.

The editorial correctly pointed out that the Big Ten and Pac-12 used what they thought was the best medical data at their disposal when they decided to shut down their respective football teams for this season on Aug. 11.

“The clear advice from our medical professionals made the choice obvious to us that we couldn’t hold a football season,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in the editorial.

So the Big Ten and Pac-12 made what they thought was the best decision based on the data they had. And that’s fine.

The NYT editorial said that there is “overwhelming evidence that (the return of college football) is a bad idea.”

There is certainly an argument to be made about whether or not to play college football this season. We’ve been making it for months.

But the evidence NOT to play is not overwhelming.

It should also be noted that the ACC, SEC, and Big 12 have quality doctors, too. It is not uncommon for two doctors to look at the same set of tests and draw different conclusions. And as September arrives, the best medical advice from those doctors says that these conferences can continue to prepare for the season.

Those conferences haven’t been cleared to play. They’ve been cleared to keep trying.

Continue reading story here

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September 1st 

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Despite rumors, Big Ten football this fall remains “a long shot”

Related … From ESPN … “”Nothing has changed,” a Big Ten source told ESPN. “Nothing. We have to get all the medical questions answered before we can even bring back a plan to the presidents for approval.”

From CBS Sports … It remains “a long shot” for the Big Ten play college football this fall, a highly placed source in the conference told CBS Sports on Tuesday. This despite President Donald Trump saying the league was “on the one yard line” after a conversation with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren on Tuesday.

The Big Ten’s Return to Competition Task Force continues to study the impact of rapid COVID-19 testing. A separate Big Ten source said that would help the conference consider playing in the fall, though it is “not the only question.”

A new nasal swab developed by pharmaceutical giant Abbott got plenty of attention last week. The test is less intrusive and has a 15-minute turnaround.

Selwyn Vickers, dean of UAB’s Medical School, is not serving as a direct consultant to conferences but has been sought out because of his experience and expertise on medical testing.

Vickers called the new rapid testing a “nice advance. It will be a significant, real boost in trying to do some of the events we’re talking about. In short order in 15 minutes we’ll know if they are positive or negative.”

But is it to make the Big Ten reconsider?

“I can’t project to know if that will,” Vickers, also a personal friend of Warren’s for 15 years, told CBS Sports. “I don’t know if the testing limits was the thing that was keeping them from playing.”

CBS Sports reported at the time of the Big Ten’s fall season postponement that myocarditis — inflammation of the heart, a long-term effect of COVID-19 — was a significant factor in the conference’s decision. As many as 15 Big Ten athletes had already developed the condition after getting COVID-19 at the time of postponement, CBS Sports previously reported.

“The Big Ten has an outstanding group of medical minds at their [disposal] who I’m sure who have given thought to [rapid testing] and likely will come up with a lot of reasons of what they need to think about,” Vickers said. “I think rapid testing is one of them.

“I don’t know if this is the only thing they were worried about.”

Continue reading story here

Forbes: Can Athletic Departments cut costs by capping coaches’ salaries?

… Short answer: “No” … 

From Forbes … Recently, three Clemson professors penned a piece suggesting that the salaries of college coaches could be capped as a way to make up for some of the financial challenges facing athletic departments. I asked three attorneys with expertise in the area of antitrust to weigh in on whether their proposed plan could withstand a legal challenge. The answer was a resounding no.

In the piece by the professors, it was stated, “A salary cap for college coaches would not be subject to the Sherman Act because it allows for competition in the form of other competitive leagues, such as the NJCAA and NAIA, and it would not impact the consumer or constituency pricing for the sports fan.”

All three antitrust experts I spoke with disagreed.

“If the NCAA or its member schools unilaterally imposed any sort of restraint on coaching salaries, it would be illegal,” said Christopher L. Sagers, James A. Thomas Professor of Law at Cleveland State University. “In fact, it would be a naked horizontal price agreement, and therefore per se illegal.”

Michael A. Lindsay, co-chair of the antitrust and commercial litigation practice groups at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, says schools in particular should be careful when it comes to salary-cap agreements between schools.

“The Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission have taken a keen interest in wage-fixing and no-poaching agreements between employers competing for the services of potential employees, and there have been private antitrust class actions as well–including one against Duke and UNC. So anyone thinking about a salary-cap agreement with other schools should think twice,” said Lindsay.

In the case Lindsay referenced, Duke and UNC agreed to a $54.5 settlement after being sued in a private action for antitrust collusion wherein it was alleged the schools agreed not to hire each other’s employees.

Perhaps even more on point is a case from 1998 where a federal jury in Kansas awarded more than $66 million to 1,900 assistant college coaches, finding their salaries were illegally restricted by the NCAA. The NCAA had imposed a rule in 1992 (which was lifted in 1995 after another court loss) restricting the salaries of certain assistant coaches to $12,000 per academic year. The coaches contended it had stifled competition and deprived them of fair market wages, while the NCAA argued it only applied to Division I and was a way of containing costs, comparing them to graduate student teaching assistants.

“Any school can make a unilateral decision on the maximum that it will pay coaches, but once there is talk of a group agreement in an industry, it’s time to become real friendly with the university’s general counsel,” said Lindsay.

Continue reading story here

Vote revealed: Big Ten voted 11-3 in favor of postponement 

From CBS Sports … Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to cancel the 2020 fall college football season due to concerns with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, lawsuit documents obtained by multiple outlets showed. The official count, which had previously not been officially known, comes courtesy of two sworn affidavits filed by the league on Monday. The documents are in response to a lawsuit filed by eight Nebraska football players in an attempt to get the conference to reverse course on postponing football until 2021.

According to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, Nebraska, Iowa and Ohio State voted to play in the fall. Big Ten bylaws require at least 60% (nine) of the league’s presidents and chancellors to vote in favor of postponing the season.

The conference has come under extreme scrutiny from a variety of fronts since making the decision on Aug. 11. Numerous players, coaches, parents and fans made it clear they felt football should be played in the fall, especially with the ACC, Big 12 and SEC moving forward. At the center of the criticism has been commissioner Kevin Warren, whose lack of leadership in the aftermath has hindered the conference’s once-esteemed credibility.

Not helping matters have been the disjointed comments of Big Ten admins. Speaking earlier in August about the decision, Minnesota president Joan Gabel said, “We didn’t vote per se. It’s a deliberative process where we came to a decision together.” Meanwhile, Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said, “It’s unclear to me whether or not there was a vote.”

News also leaked that the Big Ten was looking into starting its season around Thanksgiving weekend instead of 2021, among other considerations. The idea, originally proposed by the conference’s coaches, could have given the Big Ten the ability to play upwards of 10-11 games in a season as opposed to eight if it started in January 2021. However, such a change of heart could be viewed by some as caving to pressure from those who are against a spring season.

In any case, the power to make such a change comes from the presidents and chancellors only. Warren has reiterated that the conference has no intention of revisiting the possibility of playing football this fall.

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August 31st

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Report: Pac-12 Presidents considering a major overhaul to “the entire structure and composition” of the conference

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … Pac-12 presidents and chancellors are considering a major overhaul to “the entire structure and composition” of the conference, including “contract issues,” according to internal documents obtained by the Hotline.

The plans are outlined in a series of executive emails focused on hiring a media consultant who could be given the authority to work independently of commissioner Larry Scott and report directly to the presidents.

“The scope of work might dictate the consultant,’’ Oregon president Michael Schill wrote to Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano and Washington president Ana Mari Cauce in June.

“If it just were a media deal than (sic) any of the three might work. However, if it is the entire structure and composition of the PAC 12 as we discussed on the call, then I wonder whether consultants whose main experience is from the business world would be appropriate.

“Our values go beyond maximizing revenue. Or, at least they did prior to the current financial issues.”

The window for decisions on the media strategy and Scott’s contract are narrowing.

Scott’s agreement expires in the middle of 2022, the same year negotiations on the next media rights partnership — “the most critical thing in the history of the conference” — are expected to begin.

Although the current deal with ESPN and Fox don’t expire until the spring of 2024, media rights deals are typically finalized at least 12 months in advance.

The networks are believed to have an exclusive negotiating window with the conference that begins in the late fall of 2022 or early winter of 2023.

Adding to the complexity is the fate of the Pac-12 Networks — the conference’s wholly-owned media division that is Scott’s brainchild but has drastically underperformed expectations in areas of audience and revenue.

“The conference has to get an independent look at all this,” said a source familiar with the president’s discussions. “Someone who doesn’t report to Larry Scott; someone who reports to the executive committee.”

Continue reading story here

Chip Kelly’s inability to recruit to UCLA raising eyebrows

From The Athletic … If you’re interested in finding out which programs are recruiting the best right now, it’s as simple as going to 247Sports and looking at the 2021 composite team rankings. But there is a difference between “best” and “hottest.”

There is a lot of nuance to recruiting, particularly in the context of how results match up with a program’s expectations. One program could finish No. 15 in the rankings and throw a parade; another team’s fans may want to fire their coach with the same finish. Recruiting is complex.

Every month, we’ll do a piece called “The 5,” a ranking that offers a deeper understanding of the current situation in the world of talent accumulation. Let’s continue with a look at some programs that should be recruiting better and some thoughts about what the future could hold.

No. 4 UCLA

Ranking in 2021: No. 51 overall, No. 7 in Pac-12, .8673 average player rating
Commitments: 13
Top 100 commitments: 0
Most important commitment: Four-star ATH Devin Kirkwood of Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra
2020 ranking: No. 33, No. 6 in Pac-12, average player rating .8694
2019 ranking: No. 40, No. 6 in Pac-12, .8569
2018 ranking: No. 19, No. 4 in Pac-12, .8732
2017 ranking: No. 20, No. 4 in Pac-12, .8838
2016 ranking: No. 13, No. 2 in Pac-12, .8834
Realistic expectation: Top 20 classes

The buzz: Chip Kelly built a juggernaut in his four-year stint at Oregon, and it’s fair to say he did so by finding players who fit his system and he was not overly concerned with star ratings. He went 46-7 with the same number of blue-chip players a team like Alabama would sign in one season. But the one thing Kelly did during his time at Oregon was use the state of California as a feeding ground for talent, so when he took the UCLA job, you could see the potential. Kelly could sell his NFL experience along with what he did at Oregon to attract players to his new school, which has one of the most beautiful campuses in America and is conveniently located in one of the most talent-rich cities in the country.

There was obvious potential for UCLA to re-emerge as a nationally relevant program. That, however, has yet to happen.

Yes, Kelly doesn’t pay attention to stars and has always recruited system-first players. But the sport is different from how it was from 2009-12, and his system isn’t a shock to the world the way it was 10 years ago. So if he wants to win the Pac-12 and give USC a run for its money in the rivalry, he needs to bring in better players. And right now, his classes have lacked the depth of talent needed to compete for a league title. That shouldn’t be a problem for a Power 5 program located in Los Angeles.

Right now, UCLA has only 13 commitments, with none ranking in the top 250 nationally. The highest-rated prospect in the class is ranked No. 25 in California. Now consider this: California is home to 20 of the top 202 players nationally — and UCLA doesn’t have any of them.

The low ranking at No. 51 is partially because Kelly has only 13 commitments. But this is a dangerous trend. UCLA’s last two classes, in 2020 and 2019, ranked No. 32 and No. 40, ending a seven-year run of top-20 classes.

Nobody should question Kelly’s ability to build a program because he did so once before. But to be a college football power, UCLA has to sign top-20 classes on a consistent basis, and right now the Bruins aren’t doing that.

Read full story here (subscription required) …

Arizona’s leading tackler now a Red Raider

From 247 Sports … The Texas Tech Red Raiders are working on establishing a new identity as head coach Matt Wells enters the second year of his tenure with the school. Part of that culture change is strengthening a defense that was once among the worst in football. On Sunday, Wells and the Red Raiders took another step in that direction.

Colin Schooler, a transfer linebacker out of Arizona, took to Twitter on Sunday to announce his commitment to Texas Tech. Schooler will have one year of eligibility remaining, as he just completed his junior season in 2019. Oddly enough, he will get to face his brother, Brenden, who transferred from Arizona to Texas, when the season begins.

Throughout his time at Arizona, Schooler has made a massive mark on the history of the Wildcats’ football program. Just a freshman in 2017, Schooler earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors, was the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year and earned Freshman All-American honors after recording 95 tackles, 13.5 for loss, and four sacks. It only went up from there.

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August 30th

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Washington loses star linebacker to NFL Draft

From ESPN … Washington linebacker Joe Tryon is forgoing his final two years of eligibility to enter the 2021 NFL draft, he announced Saturday.

Tryon earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2019, when he recorded eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. The 6-foot-5, 262-pound Tryon finishes his Washington career with 61 tackles, including nine sacks in two seasons. ESPN’s Todd McShay last week ranked Tryon as the No. 40 overall prospect for the 2021 draft.

Tryon is among the Pac-12 players who led the #WeAreUnited movement, which included an Aug. 2 letter listing demands they needed met to play the 2020 season.

Washington had its fall season postponed Aug. 11. The Pac-12 has yet to announce plans for a possible winter or spring season.

Public rifts tearing apart Big Ten’s credibility

From CBS Sports … Didn’t you used to be the Big Ten, all class and formality? Bo and Woody may have flipped now and then, but the league was mostly 3 yards and a cloud of decorum. Legends and Leaders may have flopped as division names, but they endured as the foundations of a 124-year-old league.

Yeah, yeah. The Big Ten (and its yappy parents) needs football. But first, the conference needs to decide what it wants.

Seventeen days after announcing it would attempt to play in spring 2021 — a decision that came 6 days after the Big Ten released its fall 2020 schedule — the league is now at least considering a Thanksgiving-week start. That is one of a number of options that also include a January 2021 start.

Pick a lane, Big Ten.

The increasing rift within the league is obvious. Big Ten coaches joined on a conference call to discuss schedule options. League presidents, who voted overwhelmingly not to play this fall, may be hearing questions from the trustees who employ them.

Worse, a lot of this rift has become public.

We are told there will be no decisions for 7-10 days while the Big Ten continues to figure itself out. Isn’t that a treat? Quiet is good from a conference that can’t keep from making the wrong kind of noise lately.

The first question: What changed between Aug. 11 and now? Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has been criticized for his lack of transparency in making the no-fall-football announcement on that date. Then, when he did issue “An Open Letter To The Big Ten Community” on Aug. 19, Warren wrote the decision to postpone the fall season “will not be revisited.”

That was all but proved false Friday when sources confirmed to CBS Sports what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported: A bunch of folks in the league had at least reconsidered playing in the fall

That is not good when Warren had drawn his line in the sand. That line has at least been blurred, if not erased entirely.

Nothing may come of it … or the league may emerge in the next two weeks with a new, detailed plan. One Big Ten source said a fall 2020 start may hinge on a medical “miracle” surrounding COVID-19 (better testing and contact tracing).

Big Ten sources increasingly indicate the league’s focus is on developing the best spring 2021 schedule possible. Something that would mitigate the problem of playing two seasons in a calendar year. Something that would end before the NFL Draft.

Continue reading story here

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August 29th

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Rose Bowl CEO: Second Rose Bowl not being ruled out

From 247 SportsDavid Eads, the CEO of the Rose Bowl, is intent on having the Rose Bowl for the CFP semifinals go off without a hitch but a second game played at the historic venue could be on the table.

“My response is, it’s really speculative at this time,” Eads said according to Dodd. “Obviously, as we move through the season, it would be something we would consider if it would interest our partners. At this time, there is really no discussion going on.”

Eads doubled down on no conversation for a second Rose Bowl, for now.

“I’ve been asked that question several times,” Eads said. “We’re a semifinal site this year for the CFP. Obviously, my team is working aggressively [on that] if there is college football this fall. The question about a spring schedule with both the Big Ten and Pac-12 and could that result in another Rose Bowl? I don’t think anybody has given any thought or consideration to that at this point.”

However, according to sources told to Dodd, “There’s been a conversation about that possibility.”

When the Rose Bowl is not serving as a semifinal game for the College Football Playoff, it’s the biggest game that pits the Big Ten against the Pac-12, usually the conference champions (if one or both of the conference champions are not in the playoff).

Should the Big Ten and Pac-12 not reverse course and play football this fall and align their schedules for a spring season or perhaps a winter start, then hypothetically, the two conferences could play to have a conference championship game and the winners would face off in a “second Rose Bowl.”

Continue reading story here

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August 28th

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Report: Big Ten looking to start as early as Thanksgiving weekend

From CBS Sports … As pressure continues to mount on the Big Ten’s decision-makers for pulling the plug on fall football, another option has been brought to the table by the league’s coaches. The Big Ten is considering a schedule that would start Thanksgiving week as one of numerous options for when to begin playing college football again, a league source confirmed to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

There are several ideas being kicked around within the conference, according to Dodd. Not all of them involving a start before January. League sources seem to be making accommodation for a potential earlier start in 2020 if there is what was termed an “overnight” change surrounding medical conditions, testing and contact tracing.

Big Ten coaches came up with the Thanksgiving idea, according to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who first reported this potential breakthrough. This would potentially give the Big Ten the ability to play 10-11 games in a season as opposed to eight if it started in January 2021.

It has previously been reported that the league is examining playing its season in several domed stadiums this winter. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm also outlined, in great detail, what a spring season could look like without infringing too much on the following season in fall 2021.

Les Miles: “If they opt out because of the pandemic, then they opt into the pandemic”

From CBS Sports … One of the principle talking points within college football is whether players are safer from the coronavirus pandemic on campus, in their facilities and playing the game. Like many coaches, Kansas’ Les Miles feels they are. But in speaking with reporters, he took that philosophy a step further by saying players choosing to opt out of the season are making life more dangerous for themselves.

“If they opt out because of the pandemic, then they opt into the pandemic,” Miles said, via Matt Galloway of the Topeka Capital-Journal. “The last I saw it, the pandemic was worldwide, OK? So I don’t know what their advantage is to turn at this point away from what would be a good finish to a college career and opportunity to advance their abilities and then have a choice whether to go off to the NFL or to stay and compete. So we’d love to have them stay and compete.”

Miles noted that at least one Jayhawks player, offensive lineman Antione Frazier, has opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Frazier has also entered the transfer portal. “That’s a decision that he made,” Miles said.

In all, about 50 players from the Power Five level have opted out of the 2020-21 season. Their reasons vary. Some are concerned with long-term effects from COVID-19, while others are more interested in pursuing their NFL careers instead of risking injury in a season that’s not guaranteed to be played fully.

Continue reading story here

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August 27th

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Nebraska furloughs 51 athletic department employees

From ESPN … The University of Nebraska is putting 51 athletic department employees on furlough and all others will take a 10% pay cut in response to the budget crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The furloughs and pay cuts will be in effect Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

“The postponement of the fall sports season, and specifically the football season, has put us in the position of making some very difficult decisions that impact every member of our staff,” athletic director Bill Moos said Friday. “In my three decades as an athletic director, I have always said that people are our most valuable resource, and there is no question that is true here at Nebraska. These are outstanding staff members and great people, and that is what makes this a particularly tough day.”

The measures are in addition to department cuts announced in June that included a 10% reduction in overall expenses for the 2021 fiscal year, no merit raises and the elimination of 17 jobs. In total, staffing decisions are expected to result in a savings of about $3 million.

UCLA sues Under Armour for terminating $280 million contract

From ESPN … UCLA sued Under Armour in federal court on Wednesday, alleging it terminated its $280 million sponsorship agreement with the Bruins not because of the coronavirus pandemic but because the record-setting deal was too expensive for the financially troubled apparel company.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, said the amount in dispute is more than $200 million. UCLA sued Under Armour on the grounds of breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and promissory estoppel.

In May 2016, Under Armour and UCLA signed the largest athletic apparel deal in collegiate sports history at the time, with the apparel company agreeing to provide the Bruins with at least $280 million in financial support, including monetary payments and products over 15 years. The deal went into effect in July 2017.

“By 2020, Under Armour wanted to get out of that deal-not because of anything UCLA did, but because the deal now seemed too expensive for the financially-troubled sportswear company,” the lawsuit says. “Under Armour decided that it would use the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to ‘terminate’ the sponsorship agreement. But neither the governing agreement nor the law allows Under Armour to do so. This action seeks to hold Under Armour to the promises that it made.”

In June, Under Armour notified UCLA and Cal that it was ending its sponsorships with the schools by invoking a force majeure clause in the deals. In 2016, Under Armour reached a 10-year, $85.6 million sponsorship deal with the Bears. The San Jose Mercury-News reported earlier this month that the Cal agreement was never signed and the two sides had been working off a term sheet the past four years.

“It is unfortunate that Under Armour is opportunistically using the global pandemic to try to walk away from a binding agreement it made in 2016 but no longer likes,” UCLA vice chancellor of strategic communications Mary Osako said in a statement. “UCLA has met the terms of the agreement, which does not require that games in any sport be played on a particular schedule. We filed this lawsuit in order to support our student-athletes and the broader UCLA community, including the athletic department that has brought 118 national championships to Westwood.”

Continue reading story here

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August 26th

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Just for fun: Video making fun of “dumpster fire” Nebraska (and Texas, and Michigan)

From YouTube …

Big Ten considering an “all-dome” winter season

From CBS Sports … The Big Ten continues its attempts to string together plans for a potential winter football season, and a part of those plans could be playing inside domed stadiums. The conference is currently considering several different domes — most of which serves as NFL stadiums — as sites to play games should the Big Ten be able to resume play in time for the winter months, according to the Columbus Dispatch

Potential sites include Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where the conference currently holds its annual conference championship game. Detroit’s Ford Field, Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium and St. Louis’ The Dome at America’s Center are reportedly also being considered, as is Syracuse’s dome. While not going into, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith confirmed to the Dispatch that the Big Ten is considering those sites “and others.”

As far as what those other sites might be, the only other domed stadiums within the Big Ten’s geographic footprint are Miller Park in Milwaukee, Northern Iowa’s UNI-Dome and Northern Michigan’s Superior Dome. It’s also possible that the Big Ten would consider stadiums outside its footprint, though that could be a lot more difficult to pull off considering travel.

Either way, it’s clear the Big Ten is trying to figure something out. Shortly after announcing the cancellation of the 2020 fall football season, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said the conference was putting together a “task force” to configure a plan for the winter or spring.

Continue reading story here

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Will early enrollees next January be allowed to play?

From Sports Illustrated … When California postponed its fall high school football season, Miller Moss took the news like so many others in the nation’s most populous state—sad, frustrated and maybe even angry. Already one of the nation’s top-ranked quarterbacks in the 2021 recruiting class, Moss lost his chance for a final high school hurrah. There would be no exclamation point on his star-studded career at Santa Ana-based powerhouse Mater Dei.

But as it turns out, he might not lose a season after all.

Moss, a USC commitment planning to enroll in January as a mid-year addition, hopes to play in a winter or spring season next year just weeks after arriving on the Los Angeles campus. And he’s not the only one. Several mid-year enrollees who are committed to Pac-12 and Big Ten programs are expecting to be eligible to participate in postponed 2020 seasons—many of whom learned of the possibility through the coaches recruiting them.

“We don’t have a definite answer, but everything I’ve heard is we could be eligible. The good thing is it might not count as a year of eligibility,” Moss says in an interview with SI this week. “It’s super exciting for me to hear. Nothing like it has ever happened before. It’s a unique opportunity. People talk about losing those (high school) game reps as a senior, but you could add game reps at a higher level.”

In a story published last week on a site covering Ohio State, Buckeyes offensive tackle commitment Jack Sawyer says he opted out of his high school senior season this fall because of the potential to play a winter or spring college football season. He told elevenwarriors.com that OSU coach Ryan Day is pushing hard for NCAA leaders to grant eligibility to mid-year enrollees. “We’re all just hoping and praying that they are gonna let us play,” he said.

The NCAA might dash those hopes. The buzz around this issue has reached one of the highest rule-making committees in NCAA Division I. The Football Oversight Committee explored the situation last week and plans to further examine it during its meeting next week, says West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons, chair of the Oversight Committee. He personally believes that mid-year arrivals should not be eligible to play a winter or spring season, but he’s not certain what course the committee will choose.

Continue reading story here

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August 25th

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UCLA loses two-year starter at offensive tackle – seeking ACC or SEC team to play for this fall

From CBS Sports … UCLA isn’t playing football this fall as a result of the Pac-12’s decision to postpone its season to the spring. When the Bruins do tee it up, they’ll do so without one of their top offensive players. Offensive tackle Jake Burton, a two-year starter for coach Chip Kelly, announced on Twitter that he will enter the transfer portal in the hopes of catching on somewhere this fall.

“I wish to thank God and my family for all of the love, guidance, and support they have given me during my time at UCLA,” he wrote … “I was looking forward to finishing my college career with my Bruin teammates. Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, that is not possible this year. After much though, I have decided to enter the portal in hopes of gaining the opportunity to play football this fall.”

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times reported on Twitter that Burton is targeting SEC and ACC schools as his transfer destination.

The 6-foot-6, 312-pound redshirt senior out of Granite Hills High School in Alpine, California, started at right tackle in all 12 games in 2019. He helped running back Joshua Kelly top the 1,000-yard mark on the ground for the second straight season. He started 11 games and played in all 12 as a sophomore, and played in five games as a redshirt freshman in 2017.

The NCAA’s new blanket eligibility waiver issued last week means that he can play as a redshirt senior in either 2020 or 2021.

First crack in the dam? N.C. State may postpone first game due to positive tests

From WRALSportsFan.com … Based on the ACC’s COVID-19 protocols with contact tracing, the conference might have to move NC State’s game with Virginia Tech to Sept. 26.

That could mean the Wolfpack will open the season on Sept. 19 at home with Wake Forest.

NC State announced on Monday 22 new positive tests within the athletic department and that all sports activities had been put on pause.

According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, the football program was included in the positive tests, and one of the clusters the school identified was at the Wolf Village student apartment complex on campus, which is where the freshmen on the football team are required to live.

… Under the contact tracing guidelines provided by the ACC’s medical advisory group, any players who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive would need to be quarantined – including being held of out of practice – for 14 days.

NC State is scheduled to open the season in 18 days, at Virginia Tech on Sept. 12. That would leave little preparation time for coach Dave Doeren’s eighth Wolfpack team.

The team hasn’t practiced since Saturday’s scrimmage, and more than a dozen players were held out of that practice due to COVID protocols.

Read full story here

Jon Wilner shifts gears: Did the Pac-12 act too quickly?

From Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News … Two weeks ago today, the Pac-12 shuttered football for the first time in conference history.

Not much has changed over the fortnight:

The SEC, ACC and Big 12 continue churning forward despite positive tests, practice pauses and campus policy reversals.

At the same time, so much has changed:

The Covid-19 positivity rate is dropping in Arizona; the case counts are plunging in Washington; and the outbreak is receding in California.

Local conditions no longer seem quite so daunting across the Pac-12 footprint.

So we wonder: Did the presidents move too soon?

Absolutely not, and quite possibly yes.

Sorry for the waffling. But with college football as with so many coronavirus matters, the answer is steeped in complexity and nuance.

… The decision seemed aggressive at the time (July 31) based on the Covid-19 conditions across the west and the testing limitations across the country.

As the days passed and training camp drew closer, aggressive became unreasonable.

Had the conference instead crafted a more modest schedule — for example: eight or nine games, starting in the middle of October — then everything would have changed.

It could have started training camp in the middle of September, not the middle of August, which would have given the medical advisors three or four additional weeks to monitor.

Their skepticism that local conditions and testing limitations would remain unchanged into September played a key role in the recommendation and the vote.

But what if they had waited until after Labor Day to take stock of local conditions and testing technology?

What if they had taken another month to gather information on Myocarditis?

Instead of starting at Mile 1 and seeing no realistic path to the marathon’s finish, what if they had started at Mile 13?

Might the end-game have looked different?

Probably not.

But probably isn’t the bar — at least, it shouldn’t be the bar.

For its athletes and fans, the conference should have done everything possible to buy as much time as possible.

It should have avoided a vote until it absolutely, positively had to take a vote.

Based on the regular-season and training camp schedules that were announced at the end of July, the vote was, in fact, wholly necessary at the time it took place.

But did the conference box itself in with the calendar?

Would the outlook be any different now, today, at this moment, if the teams were still three weeks from starting training camp?

We can’t rule that out.

If you’re going to second guess the decision, that’s not an unfair place to start. — Jon Wilner.

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August 24th

… Foe Pause … 

Nebraska at it again – parents threaten to sue

From The Sporting News … A group of Nebraska football parents wants the Big Ten to provide it with all documentation related to any votes that were taken to postpone or cancel the conference’s 2020 college football season and all fall sports, or else face a lawsuit to force their release.

The parents, through attorney Mike Flood, sent the conference a letter Thursday demanding transparency. Their focus is on the Big Ten’s voting procedures and any medical information it received prior to voting.

The conference has until Monday to provide the materials, Flood wrote. If it fails to meet that deadline, then the group will ask a federal judge in Nebraska to order their release. The parents will also ask for unspecified “immediate relief” from the judge.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren announced Aug. 11 that sports would not played in the fall semester. Warren did not announce a vote count. He cited athletes’ health as the reason for the cancellation.

“As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall,” Warren said in a statement.

Warren wrote in an open letter Wednesday that “(t)he vote by the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C) was overwhelmingly in support of postponing fall sports and will not be revisited.”

Reports this week, including by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said that the Big Ten could begin playing football in early January.

Continue reading story here

North Dakota State to play one fall game (to showcase first round quarterback)

Note … FCS powerhouse North Dakota State was scheduled to play Oregon on September 5th, and is slated to play CU in Boulder in 2024 … 

From ESPN … North Dakota State, the three-time defending FCS national champion, will face Central Arkansas in a non-league game Oct. 3 after having its fall season postponed earlier this month.

The Bison will host Central Arkansas, one of five Southland Conference teams playing a partial or full fall schedule. Central Arkansas is set to face three FBS opponents — Arkansas State, UAB and Louisiana — and play home-and-home series against Eastern Kentucky and Missouri State.

North Dakota State, led by star quarterback Trey Lance, has won 37 consecutive games and eight of the past nine FCS national titles. Lance will be among the top quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL draft, so the game represents a chance for him to showcase his talents to scouts.

SPN’s Todd McShay has Lance at No. 14 overall in his mock draft, and ESPN’s Mel Kiper ranks Lance No. 15 among his prospects for the 2021 draft. Kiper ranks him No. 3 among quarterback prospects, only behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

North Dakota State is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference, which, like most FCS leagues, postponed its fall season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league allowed members to play one non-league game this fall, at their own discretion. The Bison will resume practice Sept. 1 in preparation for the Central Arkansas contest, part of a three-game agreement between the schools that also includes meetings in 2023 and 2025.

“Due to the challenge completing a full non-conference schedule, we took a pause to consider all our options for this fall, knowing full well it could mean not having the opportunity to play,” North Dakota State athletic director Matt Larsen said in a prepared statement. “Upon further consideration, coupled with recent information provided by the NCAA, we felt it was in the best interest of our football program to practice and play one game this fall.”

Read full story here

AP Preseason poll released – Three Pac-12 teams included

From CBS Sports … The preseason AP Top 25 poll was released on Monday, and it has taken on a different look in what will be one of the strangest college football seasons in recent memory. Even though the Big Ten, Pac-12, Mountain West and MAC have chosen to postpone their fall seasons, the Associated Press decided to let voters include teams from those conferences in their initial polls. With that in mind, there wasn’t much of a surprise at the top.

Clemson, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Trevor Lawrence, chimed in as the preseason No. 1 team in America for the second straight season. The Tigers are followed by the first team from the Big Ten to be included — the Ohio State Buckeyes. Even though they won’t play this fall, Justin Fields and Co. were widely regarded as one of the top teams in the country prior to the shutdown.

Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma round out the top five, with defending national champion LSU coming in at No. 6.

Cincinnati is the highest-ranked Group of Five team at No. 20, with No. 21 UCF being the only other Group of Five team included in the poll.

Here’s the Preseason AP Top 25 poll in its entirety.

1. Clemson (38)
2. Ohio State (21)
3. Alabama (2)
4. Georgia
5. Oklahoma
6. LSU (1)
7. Penn State
8. Florida
9. Oregon
10. Notre Dame
11. Auburn
12. Wisconsin
13. Texas A&M
14. Texas
15. Oklahoma State
16. Michigan
17. USC
18. North Carolina
19. Minnesota
20. Cincinnati
21. UCF
22. Utah
23. Iowa State
24. Iowa
25. Tennessee

Others receiving votes: Memphis 86, Virginia Tech 85, Boise State 68, Arizona State 66, Miami (FL) 42, Louisville 32, Appalachian State 26, Washington 21, Kentucky 20, Indiana 19, Baylor 15, California 11, TCU 9, Virginia 7, Navy 6, Florida State 6, SMU 3, Mississippi State 3, Air Force 3, Northwestern 1, UAB 1

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August 23rd

… Foe Pause … 

CBS: For playing conferences, “Student-athlete No. 1” being replaced by “Football No. 1”

From CBS Sports … Think about one of the biggest criticisms of big-time college athletics before the COVID-19 pandemic: Players are isolated from the student body, tucked away in the athletic facility spending more time on their sport than their major. Critics even used the word “bubble” to describe the world in which they lived.

Now for your weekly measure of coronavirus surrealism: A bubble might be the only thing that saves college football.

Not through any strategic planning, mind you. It might be all that’s left to try given the circumstances.

This week, three teams playing in the ACC this year (Notre DameNorth CarolinaNC State) either sent students home or paused in-person classes because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

That’s just a sample. UCLA has “drastically” reduced on-campus housing due to the virus. The Chronicle of Higher Education counted 86 students suspended at five schools for improper gatherings. Then there’s the 300 faculty members at Georgia that have called in-person classes “unwise.”

None of this impacts football directly. Rather, it is creating increasingly bad optics.

What kind of message are these schools sending? If students aren’t safe on campus, how can football plow on? It is the most intimate (100-plus players), physically demanding sport in collegiate athletics.

“You can’t put them in a bubble, because they’re students and they have to go to class,” former Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman told the Wall Street Journal.

A true bubble isn’t feasible for college football, particularly because teams will be traveling to play one another. There would always be open loops. Professional athletes can negotiate their working and testing conditions. On some level, college players still need the freedom to be students — socialize, see their families and friends … go to class.

Otherwise, they would be human shields — athletic mercenaries thrown out there to achieve an economic goal. That may be happening anyway. It depends how you look at it.

… As long as everyone can look themselves in the mirror, that’s fine. The feeling here is that won’t be possible. At least not for everyone. In fact, there’s already a lot of rationalization going on.

The cry of no students, no football has been lost to the fear that no football means no money.

Increasingly, the mantra of April (The student-athlete is No. 1) is being replaced by the demands of August: Football is No. 1.

Continue reading story here

Options for Pac-12 spring include pods (round-robin with Utah/Arizona schools)

From BearInsider.com … Having canceled its fall football season, the Pac-12 will do everything it can to play the sport in the spring. It only makes sense. That’s sense as in dollars and..

The loss of the fall season will cost every school $50 million, give or take. A spring season won’t make up for all of that, but it could provide up to half. That makes for a pretty good motivation to get it done.

“We wouldn’t have said we were postponing if we didn’t think we could play in the spring,” said Colorado athletic director Rick George, the conference’s representative on the CFP selection committee.

Obstacles are not in short supply. First is the format/schedule. How many games? Over how long a span?

Jon Wilner, the well-respected writer for the San Jose Mercury News, proposed a nine-game season running from Feb. 20 through April 17, with a conference championship the following weekend.

Players could compete in only seven games to limit wear and tear. Even with a short bowl season, the whole shebang would be done by early May, leaving more than three months until the start of fall camp.

That’s one possibility.

The conference is apparently also considering a much shorter season with the conference divided into pods. Teams could sequester in certain areas (Bay Area, Los Angeles) and then play a round-robin, say five games, without leaving their home base. Then a conference title game, with maybe the Pac-12 champ facing its Big Ten counterpart in a bowl (dare we call it Rose?).

That is a lot of time off-campus, but so what. Most of the instruction this fall will be done online anyway.

Other ideas include a much-extended spring practice, which finishes up with a three or four-game schedule. This way the coaches get to work with the players over a longer period, and the risk of injury or exposure to the virus is lessened.

If the ACC, SEC and Big 12 go ahead with their fall schedules, a lot of the luster is taken off the Pac-12 and Big 10 spring seasons, The college football landscape would be as messy as it ever has been, with the NCAA powerless to correct it.

Continue reading story here

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103 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes”

  1. ironic that the 2 stories:
    SEC teams not being able to play
    and
    the PAC 12’s advanced testing strategy
    come out on the same day. Is the PAC putting the cart before the horse.?
    Testing is absolutely necessary but if you dont take distancing type precautions against this highly contagious disease you wont be playing anyway.
    It would also be interesting to note if the fans who are whining about missing the season the most are doing their part by following the CDC guidelines

  2. Larry Scott: “High degree” of confidence in January start for football.

    ….and that is suppose to be exciting? I guess if you have low goals you can afford to have low expectations. I guess the silver lining is that the PAC 12 will be the only game in town in Jan. Unless of course the Big 10 is playing, and then they lose on that front too.

  3. “If everybody’s not involved. How is there a true champion?”

    That’s easy, the ones that decided not to play forfeited that right.

  4. What’s interesting about all this talk of the Big 10 maybe reevaluating Fall football is that no one seems to care what the Pac 12 does.🤔

  5. For the schools that are going to play this fall, I haven’t really heard about what happens if players test positive for covid during the season. What if your starting QB tests positive or is so sick he can’t get out of bed for the game? Will guys play in games while they test positive? I’ve never heard of a guy sitting out of a football game because he was sick.

  6. For me the PAC12/BIG10 have made themselves irrelevant for the 2020 season. They will play some abbreviated schedule in the Winter or Spring that really won’t mean anything although they will try to play it off as if it is.

  7. Grew up Catholic, including school & alter boy, so I can say this, I don’t really like when a player starts out thanking god for giving him this opportunity/chance, but… & than the rest of his statement is “I” or “me” as to why they need to leave the program; sorry it just irks me. Was it a blessing? If so why waste it, or change god’s plan?

  8. Well, jsut saw the preseason polls…that made it hard and it hit home that the Buffs aren’t playing this year and others will be…
    Keeping my opinions out of it as too many other people have too much at stake.

  9. Who was that guy who earache tried to tag VK with? Somebody Ball? Oh yeah….Lavar Ball. Maybe Eric can provide me with the connection but I digress.
    Suffice to say Ball and the all the beauty pageant and figure skating parents in the world jaws just dropped at the news from corn land.
    Gotta hand it to their attorney. Mike Flood, who saw a real big opening and may not have to sniff at an ambulance for a little while. So what happens if one of the players brings it home and kills one of his parents? Hire Mike Flood and sue again.
    I seriously doubt if there will be any surprises in the documents these desperate parents are demanding. As far as “unspecified relief” goes I imagine it will stop dead in its tracks right there.
    I guess I can smell these parent’s fear. If their kid doesn’t make it to the NFL, or at least have their son’s autographed picture on the wall of a Lincoln bar…. and he has to clean rest rooms in a Kearny truck stop the shame would be lethal.
    Even if they are successful and the frosty cobs go on to another loosing season Flood and his parent clients will probably sue the team.
    Once again,as an attorney, I would love to hear your take on this Stu
    Will Flood have to go back to the police scanner listening for auto accidents again?

    1. I would think that the first issue would be one of standing.
      All of these parents are parents of adults – they don’t need mommy’s and daddy’s protection. As a result, they are just “fans”, just like the rest of us, and we as fans are not entitled to tell Universities what to do and how to do it.
      There could be some FOIA claims to get documents on what medical reports they reviewed, and how the vote/decision was made … but that’s about it, IMHO.

      1. Haha, “All of these parents are parents of adults – they don’t need mommy’s and daddy’s protection.” That’s both funny & true!

  10. CBS Sports…another opinion piece, so I guess football isn’t a violent sport and students don’t get concussions or injuries? No SEC/ACC/BIG12 player is being forced to play, any player can opt out and keep their scholarship. The indignation is ridiculous on the part of the Dodd, its false and I applaud the conferences that allow there players to make individual decisions for themselves.

  11. Ay caramba
    Depression, alcohol abuse, suicide and a whole basket of other mental health issues? And what about those po guys who might have a shot at the NFL?
    and then there is all those cheated fans.
    Life is over as we know it.
    One season might end and the world ends. Right?
    Isn’t it time we took a step back, a deep breath and re-assess the total obsession with football? Especially the free to the NFL farm team portion of football? The UConn coach is absolutely right. Its about the money in what is supposed to be an amateur sport that has over taken, in a lot of the universities, attention to education.
    Dont get me wrong. I love football and loved playing it. To use a phrase from the president “people tell me” I could have played D1 but I knew I didn’t have the dedication to devote my whole life to it. Maybe if there had been instant retirement NFL salaries involved back then the money would have had me obsessed too. Its easy to tell with 20/20 hindsight, however, that was an impossible dream, one carried by 90%+(?) of college players? Besides I grew up in Colorado. I loved skiing,(and impressing the girls from Kansas to Texas who would come out and try it) back packing/climbing and even a season of motocross.
    I can certainly understand if a guy who has played since pop warner and was a star through out high school harboring those professional dreams that the total devotion to the sport could bring about all the mental health issues previously mentioned when the virus brought an abrupt halt.
    Heck, even some NFL stars are lost when the career is over and they have no other real interests to turn to.
    Just wondering if a little balance in life would be better. Saban whining about some of his players sitting out for the for the draft if there was going to be a delayed season sent him into a pants wetting. After all he has already accomplished it will never be enough. Maybe I’m sick but I see that as a sickness.
    Hay suse. If you absolutely are lost without football and there is nothing else in life that interests you……. .as much as this pains me to say it…you could always try golf.

  12. I usually like what Maisel says about the state of college football, but the editorial posted on CUATG is nonsense in many respects. Such as if Nebraska hadn’t left the Big 12 they’d be able to play this year. True but completely irrelevant. Especially when you consider that part of his argument hinged on regional proximity. Nebraska is more regionally aligned with the Big 10 than Big 12. Also, I sincerely doubt that Ohio State wants to play 6 MAC opponents instead of its conference rivals. The one argument that holds some water is that is doesn’t seem to make sense to cancel non-conference games that a team can bus to when they are traveling 1000s of miles for conference games. However, one can argue that airplane travel and bus travel aren’t much different. People are traveling on planes every day and aren’t as well protected as the athletes would be. Also, at least within a conference the health and safety protocols are consistent.

    What is also nonsense is half the college conferences playing and half not playing. Someone is going to look very foolish and I’m afraid it will be those not playing. Those not playing are in a strange position. In order for the decision to not play be the correct one, there has to be massive infections and perhaps even a death or two that would cause the season to be shut down. Is it possible that those in the PAC12 and Big 10 executive suites are hoping for such an outcome? It is my opinion that the fall seasons will go on as planned and as a result the PAC12 will fall further into second tier obscurity. To hope for a different outcome would be to hope for sickness among those playing. I’m not willing to go there.

  13. Do you know if there has been any discussion at all about allowing at least some coaching and possibly even intra squad scrimmages with or without pads ?

    1. That is going to be an evolutionary goal. Right now, it’s still the 20 hours of contact, but no actual practices.
      If Karl didn’t have bad luck, he wouldn’t have any luck at all. A week before spring practices were to begin, everything gets shut down. A week before fall practices are to begin, everything gets shut down.
      Next hope? fall camp in December? Fingers crossed …

  14. At what point do we get serious about a move back to the Big 12. By all accounts the move to Pac 12 has been a failed financial experiment not to mention mediocre results athletically and failed coaching. At some point it must become clear to those in power that there is a better way. I just hope they don ‘t sit on this too long and let another West Virginia type sneak in there while we sit and wonder what might have been.

    1. “At what point….? How about never?
      “…….wonder what might have been? We have already been there…there is no wonder.
      sure, you bet….all the crappy coaching will disappear once we are back in the Big 12.
      btw NU is no longer in the big 12 either….are you trolling them too? And West Virginia? pffft. the only reason they are there is because is because 4 other teams decided to leave rather than being subject to the Texas state legislature.
      btw I wont go to LA either. its the exact opposite extreme of Manhattan, Whacko and most of the other big 12 flatland clones.
      I would say “sorry, thats just the way it is” but those little closing ultimatums are a sure sign the user is compensating for his lack of confidence in his argument. Next time, if you have to, use a K. Jackson saying like “that dog dont hunt”
      C’mon and admit it Robert. You are either a sour grapes CSU fan trying to drag the Buffs to your level…or…actually Mark Kisla looking for new angles to be aggravating

      1. So we would be playing football this fall except oh! we’re in a conference that includes Calif. and Arizona that apparently don’t understand masks and social distancing.
        Interesting!!

        1. except oh! we would be in a conference that includes Texas which apparently doesnt understand masks and social distancing……..and of what Texas says…goes in the big 12.
          and
          except oh! a virus doesnt show up at a state border and holler …”whoa.”

        2. California & Arizona have had their problems, and both have made the news, BUT didn’t a restaurant in Castle Rock or Colorado Springs make national news on mother’s day for the same? Colorado has about as many people in the whole state as California has in Orange County alone 3,200,000 pop. So, a state with 40 million people has more difficulties.

          I live near a resort community in the mountains in SoCal that had only 11 cases in the first four months, the start to the July 4th weekend; those 11 cases were the whole mountain resort & the surrounding communities. But, after the opening we shot up to 89 cases in 4 weeks! As ep stated, the virus doesn’t care about state lines… or county either, opening everything resulted in that kind of increase in my small community in only 4 weeks because of people traveling.

          People who travel, like an entire football team & the coaches, support staff, equipment managers & etc. are taking major risks no matter if it’s Texas or Arizona. They are flying, trucking equipment, staying in hotels, taking buses and eating out. How do we know some worker bee won’t infect a coach who may be of that age that’s more vulnerable?

          Our stores & gas stations/convenience stores are packed all weekend & busier than normal this summer, you’d never know there was a pandemic going on. I read & hear it’s the same in resort towns across America, including some in CO; I do have family there too. People don’t bring everything they need when they leave home, thus the problems.

          Being back in the Big12 won’t solve the past problems since leaving, those coaches and problems would have been there regardless. And they won’t get more than a couple of games… if that in before the will have to shut down again. Winter is coming to…

          1. Trivia question..what is going to happen when the sec, big 12, acc, and hopefully the big 10 start playing in a few weeks?

            Absolutely nothing…99.7% and common sense people know its higher than that.
            #political

      2. Do you really think we would have hired the flimflam man or the boob from where? SanJose something.
        come on!! The best coach we ever had was Midwest Mich./ Missouri.

    2. I don’t see any chance of that happening. Moving to the pac 12 helped fundraising reach new heights by tapping alumni in the pac 12 footprint.

      There are myriad other reasons, but the money is a big one.

      Go Buffs

  15. Players getting another year makes sense, but how will schools afford it? Also, CU has something like 8 or 9 seniors but other schools have a full class, so CU would give up to those 8 or 9, maybe less if some go pro or forgo, but a school that has a full class could have to fund up to 25 additional players; probably less, but still twice or more as many as CU, which is better off?

    A larger roster with more players, but a lot more money or a smaller squad with less cost, but less options?

    1. I would think that CU would be in the better position with a smaller squad and less cost.
      Paying for scholarships aside, there will be seniors, seniors who are not NFL-caliber players, who may just call it good and move on with their lives. In that respect, CU takes a smaller hit in terms of loss of career starts and leadership.
      Plus, even if teams are allowed to expand their rosters to 100-120 players, that doesn’t necessarily help their cause. They are still fielding only 11 at a time, which means more players buried in the depth chart (and perhaps disgruntled enough to transfer down the road to a school like, say, CU, which will offer the ability to compete for a starting position more readily).

      We’ll see …

  16. Love seeing Frost spouting off, getting stuffed, and whining. Bears a striking resemblance to losing to the Buffs. Huskers haven’t done anything for years.

  17. Okay Okay there are actually schools in the pac that from academic standpoints look like Kornkob Kommunity Kollege …No AAU qualifications.

    ASU
    OSU
    WSU

  18. Wow…every team plays 9 games, but every player limited to 7… I’m going to have to think about that more after 4:20p….

  19. Dont get me wrong. I am going to miss football as much as anyone. I still think the game can be played safely without fans or maybe 25% of capacity
    however
    I have to laugh at the corn cobs desperation. Without the “mighty” pink shorts (typo wasnt intended but I’ll keep it) stinkin it up every Saturday the best fans in the world will have to smell only the feed lots, play cards at the local cafe and take up golf. There ya go VK….run out to the Linkin links and pick up some corn money. Shoot they dont even have to drive their tractors anymore. The gps system does it for them. If i wasnt boring before in the corn field before just wait.

  20. This is the time for CU to really reconsider what conference they want/need. The big 12 is going to always be a force in college sports
    It’s a perfect time for CU and Nebraska to get back to what made them a major player in college football.

    1. Robert, do yourself a favor and reread all the articles on what the good ‘ole Texas boys did when the Big-12 was cracking up as it relates to CU. If you want to rejoin the conference and be a Texas/Oklahoma/Nebraska (god I hope the BIG-10 boots their asses out) lap dog and travel to those garden spots of Stillwater, Waco, Lubbock an Ames then be my guest.

      I prefer to remain in a conference where the majority of its members are in the American Association of Universities which is what the PAC-12 and BIG10 have. That’s why the PAC-12 and Big10 frequently work in unison. Preferring to remain in the PAC 12 is also the preference of the majority of CU alumni who reside in the PAC 12 footprint.

      CU is a better fit for the PAC-12.

      $#@! the BIG 12.

      Unless all this blows up into some type of Super Conference realignment then CU isn’t going anywhere.

      1. Can I add to that? You forgot the Kansas schools where its easier to drive to than fly but your ready to shoot yourself before the drive is over…and Taco Johns is a 4 star restaurant.
        However I have a special place in my heart for those self described Christians at Baylor (heavy sarcasm)
        And Nebraska? Let em choke for while on the fact they got beat the last 2 times, once in front of the “best fans in the world”…they same ones that give you the middle finger when they recognize your plates.

        1. ep, and everyone else go to the Lincoln Star Journal click on Huskers and watch the 31 min. video that the 3 homer scribes that live with NE football up their ……….err elbow. Boy they got ole Frosty’s Back.

          1. that will turn off quicker than light switch if and when Frosty goes 5-7 again. They will reserve the death threats for a 2-10 season

      2. And of those 26 schools in the Big and the Pac, only one is not an member of the AAU. They got kicked out of the organization for not meeting the requirements.

        Yup the Kornkobs of Kornholer Kommunity Kollege are not up to snuff.

        Buffs

        Note: 24 and 0 in 2021

      3. While Big 12 campuses may not be LA ,if you have ever been to an OU, NU, or even a KSU football game and you love college football, there is no better atmosphere or passion for CU to be involved with. Like it or not the Big 12 has much more prestige East of California than the Pac 12. Sorry that’s just the way it is.

  21. BS……….BS…………BS………….BS

    The players are safer on a campus-controlled environment than they are roaming around in public.

    SO…..I’ll reiterate……….IT’S — B.S……. PLAIN AND SIMPLE……..CASE CLOSED. (I think it really pisses me off).

    1. Counter point: you’re saying the kids aren’t rolling around in public on campus, or on the hill or around town?

      We’ll all know a lot more in another six months.

      I sort of hope at least the sec plays. Would make for a very interesting case study.

      And, as Stu implied in the recent poll, CU can use some more seasoning with staff and players before the next season, whenever that is. The bigger bummer will be if guys like Nate and Mustafa just move on, but so be it.

      On the bright side, CU probably loses less people than many teams will.

      Gonna be interesting.

      Go Buffs

    2. Exactly, except you forgot the main reason (political)…also, the last thing “they” want is to have contact sports, (even though my daughter just finished 8 weeks of club b-ball and the gov didnt save us until the last game of the season where we all had to wear a mask..weew that was close) and people in the stands. Why? Because nothing is going to happen…Ready to take my money down south to catch some fball.

  22. Wow. This shutting down will be devastating for CU. They were already so far behind. New coach comes in and it is a long time before he can get to his job. Weak recruiting will only get weaker. How can we compete?

  23. CSU just built a $200,000,000 or so stadium, so they can’t just walk away from football, but the latest story will probably result in the firing of their HC; he wasn’t an impressive hire. And, shuttling the program for a season that will be lost anyhow, then some restructuring/BK (don’t know how that works for a public school) but then how will the recovery of a global event that may drag out for a few years effect many of the other schools?

    They have the biggest debit of any G5 school, so they will push the boundaries on recovery, stay tuned.

    1. Bankruptcy really isn’t an option. The athletic department is not a separate entity from the University, just a subset. The entire University isn’t going under from this … just the Colorado taxpayers, who will ultimately end up footing the bill for CSU’s largess.

      1. I didn’t think BK was an option for the public schools (hence the questions), and CSU isn’t the only one that will go down due to debt v the lost season, now I wonder how many schools will play the pandemic card to restructure past debts that are due to past mistakes in management to get a clean slate to start all over… again?

    2. Addazio want even unemployed for 2 weeks after he was fired and hired by the hapless rams. You wonder why they didnt hire Tony Alford. Addazio is just another one of the many fat white guys who will always have a job no matter how bad their history gets. If you want to factor in some of their buyouts per year actually on the job some of them are probably making as much as Saban for a year or 2…..for failing

      1. Urban Meyer (who was a position coach at CSU long ago) was involved and recommended Addazio who then hired Meyer’s son.

  24. Dang
    Cal owes 438 million? ai yi yi, sacre bleu, cowabunga. Professor salaries must be out of control like coach’s…and there is a lot more of them. I googled the tuition there: $14,235 per semester for instate…and hold on…wait for it…..$44,000 out of state.
    I was shocked to see Michigan and Ohio State well into the debt list too. The rust belt economy must still be rusty.
    I joked earlier about Bezos and the Saudis grubstaking football but that may be what it takes. Are Gates and Buffet football fans? I googled the Walton family donations and with no surprise almost all of them go to foundations whose research will benefit the company’s business models. One exception was $250,000 for the Razorback cheerleading squad….soooo weeee pigs.
    Someone in here mentioned the NFL’s free farm system. Maybe they should ante up.
    Sounds like my previous suggestion of restructuring with universal spending limits may be closer than I think. Even Ohio State and Michigan might have to participate….and maybe crappy coaches will quit getting ridiculous buyouts…..and dirt bags wont jump teams after one year.
    The covid effect

  25. If the comments of players and training staff members is true, this might be the beginning of the end for CSU football. How can you keep a coach that tries to cover up test results or symptoms. They are running on a razor thin budget as it is without this kind of publicity. This is not what college football needs at this time. I’m no CSU fan but this is a bad look for college football.

  26. Seems kind of strange the the WSU player wanted to do the workouts, go to practice and then not play in games……..usually its just the opposite.

    1. The times article spot on about the player’s bennies. I dont remember if the author mentioned the apprenticeship and audition for the NFL where they could become bazillionaires…. Even though only a handful make it I’m sure every starter on every FCS and FBS tram has some expectations.

      But then the author also mentioned the 1 million dollar salaries for coordinators. How much money does Saban get now 10 to 15 mill? Then there are the mulitimillion dollar facilities and on and on.
      I’m not using this to validate any player’s demands but I am wondering where all this is “going to end” too. Of course this new players union isn’t going to start their own league….unless someone with Bezos money or the Saudis grubstakes it. Wouldn’t that be a hoot. Picture Keith Jackson (RIP) introducing the Ridyah Roughnecks vs the Dubai Dorado….but I digress again.
      How many schools like WSU and the mutton farm are circling the drain? CU is hanging on for now but for how long?
      Maybe the top tier schools like Alabama, Ohio State etc could form their own super league.
      They could include 2nd or 3rd tier teams like Michigan and Texas whose fans would rather donate 10% of the gross to the team before they give anything to the local children’s hospital. That might even include the corn cobs whichever tier they belong in these days.
      The rest of us could reorganize under a different version of the NCAA where there would be limits each school could spend on facilities, travel coaches salaries etc. thereby providing a much leveler playing field and more exciting competition.

      1. I’m not against your idea ep. in fact I’ve wondered about a restructuring similar to what you’re proposing. It may be inevitable

  27. First of all if the WSU kid has sickle cell he would be stupid to play or even hang around and practice with the team. On the flip he should still be able to retain his scholarship due to his particular circumstances.
    As far as the rest of the team I can understand why they would be nervous about the protection standards. 6 feet one on one is probably fine. Playing against another team that has been tested before the game is fine but I would be nervous standing smack dab in the middle of the field, let alone on the bench on the sideline with 60,000 fans screaming their head off.
    I don’t know anything about the current health insurance situation for college players but I feel they should have some long term coverage for any complications that would be associated with playing football….unless they go the the NFL where I think they would fall into another umbrella.

    As for the rest of their demands….good luck. If it wasn’t for the massive amount of money flowing in and out of these programs they probably wouldn’t have tried in the first place.

    And then there is the sentiment for booting these players out of school altogether. The last thing I heard there weren’t any Buffs signed up for this little revolt. I wouldn’t bet any money at all on these programs that do have the rebels kicking them off the team when some other programs aren’t.
    Then there is the issue of fans in the stands which I have heard zilch from the conference about. On one hand you will have programs like Oregon and Utah wanting to pack em to the rafters when Cal, the nations hottest spot right now, probably wont let any in at all. Half the conference’s teams are in Cal and AZ which are 2 of the hottest spots right now. They aren’t going to like it when their home games aren’t like road games for their opponents.
    And then there is baseball which cant keep it off their teams. Can college football? But then again all the baseball players I met in high school were fairly obnoxious.

  28. Who cares. Let em play little league.

    Buffs.

    Note: Now if I was commissioner. I would get the boys together and tell em to put together the lockout. Kick em out of the dorms. Rescind scholarships. And of course anybody who wanted to play under the current compensation could come to the facility , stay at the dorms etc etc. Then it is time to get the scabs. “No Playee not Payee” Yup hard arse.

    Note 2. Did ya see the NBA and MLB had really good opening night tv ratings?
    Note 3: Did ya see the NBA and MLB had really bad 2nd night tv ratings?
    Note 4: “After the Love is Gone” Earth Wind and Fire………….appropriate eh?

    1. And did you there was Hockey on Saturday night? And I agree, rescind the scholarships! They can go sign up for the NFL draft and see where that gets them. Up with High School football.

  29. Can you imagine the class action suits from past players for compensation and insurance ?
    How about coaches paid 50 thousand/ yr rather than 5 million/ yr.
    Its coming

  30. Alright, 50% of net revenue and they have to pay their own tuition, no scholarships except what you can get on your own, just like every other student. If the institution is in the red, then they get nothing.

    All of their facilities are opened up to the entire student population during off season and to use these upgraded facilities, there is an additional fee, which they would be subject to. They have to pay for all of their own uniforms, clothing etc.

    Insurance, they should organize on their own to pay this out of their 50% for the number years after graduation.

    They also can split the 2% with the institution for support for underprivileged and racial inequality aid, meaning they pay 1%, the institution pays 1%.

    1. I like your post. Lots of CU degrees in our household. Came with work, loans, and a focus on education. No free rides. Now here we have people who have scholarships and stipends wanting more. I had plenty of athletic injuries but didn’t go asking for someone to pay my medical bills. I’m sure there are plenty of young people who would be willing to play and be proud to do so while focusing upon the main mission of getting a college education. The form your own league is a great suggestion.

  31. I was happy but surprised that none of CU’s worst teams were in that worse 25 of the last 50 years.
    I was surprised that none of the Fairbanks or Embree teams were chosen. CSU from 1981 was 15 and K State from 1987 and even Washington from 2008. Hard to believe that those Fairbanks teams that lost twice to Drake! and OU 82-42 weren’t listed. Or Embree’s team that lost to Sac State. That was some bad football.

    1. From my website guy … “looks like your SSL certificate expired and I didn’t get any notification! I’ll get that fixed asap.” It sounds like the computer equivalent of not paying the power bill.

      And … we’re back!

  32. Ya know, those cardboard cutouts are a damn perfect representative of the sad state of overpaid baseball. Nothing to see here. Americas game sucks. (Now I didn’t watch one game but I did get a glance of the “fakes” with sports center as a back ground. Baseball…………….a true virtual game for the fans.

    Middle Note: The NBA and their supposed platform is the worst.

    ESPN promoting this crappola………………Walt Disney world Peeves me as I can’t even stand it as background noise.

    But Thursday was a good day. Golf mostly all day if you were interested. Missing the real players so kinda ignored it………….but………..

    But Thursday evening was great

    NASCAR

    And it was great. Even on TV it’s great…………….Just can’t give it up

    Buffs

    Note: And here again if you think NASCAR is just about driving in circles yur highly mistaken. Great stuff going on there.

    Note 2: The Need for Speed is real

    Note 3: Of course if yur a Prius guy (az…….and a couple of others I am sure are) NASCAR won’t interest you. Bocce ball or Kornhole or Pickle ball would be pretty good for ya. Very exciting on TV.

    Note 4: After further consideration I really would like there to be college football again………..and soon. I don’t miss it yet cause we ain’t there yet where it is normally ramping up. But getting close.

    Buffs Again

    Babbling…………..sorry………….. you didn’t have to read it…………..

    1. Haha VK, “NASCAR is more than going in circles”, maybe, but as a major car enthusiast who has enjoyed a few dirt track events with midgets & full size cars; very thrilling with lot’s of action, the last NASCAR race I attended was nothing but a parade for the whole race.

      They were worried about rain in the forecast and were just trying to get the minimum number of laps in so they wouldn’t have to make up the race; a friend had the radio headphones & was listening to the pits. They had it timed out so they knew if no one crashed & if there were no stoppage they could just barely make to the time of the rain with the minimum, I think it was 100 laps.

      And that’s what they did, no passes or bumping for 98 laps! Then there was a couple of passes for 2nd-4th… and maybe some at the back too; but no one cared at that point. It just started to sprinkle for the last couple of laps, but only on the far back turn of the track, the rain hadn’t made it to the opposite diagonal side of the track yet, so the whole group politely slowed for that turn for the last couple of laps to complete the 100 lap goal (dry tires).

      I’ll never waste money on going to a NASCAR race again, unless it’s a dirt track, loads of fun to be seen there.

      1. We have a dirt track at our small burg too. Unfortunately some guy from Albuquerque usually shows up (not one of the Unsers) with the best machinery and blows away the locals.
        The biggest hoot is the high school run what ya brung category . You see fiat sedans, chevy vegas and a whole mish mash of 70s vintage rattle traps duking it out with surprising competitiveness. The kids line up out of their cars on the track after the race is over to take a bow and the crowd goes nuts. Never miss the demo derby either. The track organizers always have a car ready for some luck spectator whose name is drawn out of he hat to be the driver. Of course he/she gets the biggest cheers. I say “she” because one day it was a young woman who got to use the car and she tore everyone else a new one.

      2. Marcus,

        I been to Buff football games like that.

        Still go though.

        Buffs

        Note; Sorry you went to one of those types of races. Sheesh.

    2. hmmmm
      Bocce? is that a Euro card game?
      Kornhole? another synonym for stinkin linkin?
      and pickle ball. I didnt know pickles came in balls.
      Reading VK is always an educational experience.
      BTW
      Antonio Cromartie drives a Prius. I googled it. Even a few of those NFLers drive those teeny little smart cars like a second skin. Unfortunately my dad was one of those guys who thought you had to pick a car to enhance your image. Out here practicality rules. Gotta have that hefty four wheel drive truck for the ranch work and to tow the boat out to Powell a couple times a year. In spite of the brand name you seem like a Lincoln Navigator kind of guy. Did McConaughey sell you one?

      1. Yo ep

        those prius cars are the 7th car in their garages. Show baby. Suck you in.

        My cars
        Suburban
        Audi q5
        Audi s4

        So there ya have it

        Use to drive Porches
        Cadillacs

        But my fave of all time Was a car I bought through the px while in nam. It was at the dealer when I got home.

        picked it up
        1969 Mustang Mach1
        428
        Shaker scoop
        Hurst shifter

        Fast and mean looking
        Spoilers front and back
        The need for speed

        Buffs.

        Note: I also had Austin Healy and an MG and a triumph spitfire

        Note 2: Just so you know I also had a van converted to a “hippy van” while in school so i could cruise and sample the many pleasures of the earth.

        1. brand new Mach 1 right out of Nam? You werent in the black market over there, were you? One other thing on that note…..the 1969 model once again spilled the beans on the fact you might only be a couple of years younger than AZ. No wonder you stick to golf
          Dont know if I should admit it but we shared a couple of brands . Austin Healy 100-6 and 2 TR-4s. Still own the third 356 Porsche. Sold the first one to go to Europe in order to ride a Dunstall Norton around which I shipped home and also got its fair share of attention from adventurous women
          Stealth hippie…”sheeesh”

          1. Welp, I crashed 2 porsches………….944s turbo and the 928. so………….Wife said no more. Moved on to the more safe STS.

            Buffs.

            Note: I joined the army at 14

  33. Of course the SEC is going to have football. Even though some of them are going to anyway, they would rather die than miss a season. Being a footballist is way ahead of being a baptist. Yes it is a religion down there. I’m willing to bet, as much as they adore the president down there, if he took an unannounced test on the SEC mascots or the cities the schools are in, which he would fail miserably, half of em wouldn’t show up at the polls in November. What else is there? Now that NASCAR has banned the stars and bars I’m sure there are plenty of em wavering on that…and you can only get so many bass boats on a lake.
    No apparent reason the PAC 12 cant have football. if the Cal students are doing virtual only classes that will include the football players. Cal can do no fans in the stands and they would still save a ton of money with TV rights. Of course the players will have to be closely quarantined together and tested for the entire season which may include no girl friends or outside friends and family.
    They may have no choice with the girl friends if they are nervous about infection.
    You kinda wonder if even more saturation of football than exists already with the players would motivate them to play better or make them listless without much outside diversion. I think the younger Shenault has already show us how he would react.

  34. To be honest I root for the name on the front of the jersey much more so than on the back. So if the FB season gets pushed to spring and a lot of stars don’t play, it won’t bother me one bit.

    1. The inmates seem to be running the asylum in the NFL. I will watch the Broncos when they show them down here in Austin but I’m pretty much finished with the rest of the league.

  35. Washington State HS Football has been moved the spring, don’t think they will be the last…wondering the impact on ’21 season…will the NCAA require all incoming Frosh to redshirt? Or are they going to let 17 yr. olds play 2 seasons in 1 year????

  36. Acually I’m not sure I care anymore.
    Don’t care about the NBA at all
    Never watch MLS
    Baseball is not in my focus
    NHL for background noise only
    NASCAR, and this is a hard one for me, not on my much watch list
    Golf. Yup watch it
    College sports
    Love college softball
    Baseball is boring
    Like soccer at this level
    Like Lax
    Volleyball is interesting
    Basketball is kinda ok
    Football was but not so much anymore cause of all this crap

    Anyway have a nice day and Be safe and Pray for the children.

    1. Even though I can think of 999 other things I would rather waste 3 hours on I still understand why playing golf is popular.
      But watch it???
      Sacre Bleu!!
      (I’m going for the French version so I can quit using your German)
      I would rather hang drywall, try and kill gophers or go shopping at Walmart.
      Whenever we had to visit the in laws in a small town in Nebraska my father in law would hog the TV even if it was some lame driving range competition. It really pissed me off when we found out he would sleep through the whole thing and then had to have help getting put of his chair which was about three feet from the screen.
      Tell me that isnt you VK

      1. Welp ep clearly the powerful electromag machines in the secret silo have been burning on your brain. Clearly the agility, the power, the athleticism and the brains required to excel at golf elude, delude, and preclude your understanding of the true beauty of the athletes of this incredible sport.

        Unbelievable………………………

        Buffs.

        Note: It does not take 3 hours to indulge in an 18 hole round of golf. What a dummy.

        Note 2: IT TAKES 6 HOURS
        1 hour. Get dressed, shoot the poop with the boys….driving range,,,,putting green…chips
        4 hours. Play 18 holes and have a wonderful time
        1 hour. Settle up drink alcohol,…….eat appetizers.

        Note 3: Now if your in az’s group then ya gotta add at least 45 minutes on for slow play

        1. I now all about the “true beauty of the athletes” in your sport. I was a caddy at the Broadmoor one summer while I was in high school.
          Because I was a rookie I got all the catholic priests and army colonels who wouldnt tip. The day I quit we, the customer and I, were on the 3rd hole which was a blind dogleg with a narrow fairway and trees with high grass in the rough. I had already seen that I was a better golfer than the dunce I was with so before he teed off I started walking down the fairway to forecaddy knowing he was probably going to hit the rough and I wanted a head start on trying to find his ball. That turned out to be a huge insult and the golfer told me to get behind him instead while he did just that. After 5 or 10 minutes of vainly searching he lit into me for not being able to find his ball. Whereupon I threw his bag at him and told him to find his own Gott Dang ball. I thought about pulling another ball out of his bag and throwing it down while he wasnt looking but I had a line on another job on a foundation crew that payed something.
          To this day the only time I play golf is with a client who absolutely insists and I make sure he beats me…..and thank gott when its over.

  37. Yo Stuart,
    Rudy Carpenter is blowing smoke up everyone’s backsides. Methinks he made this up to get free publicity for his site.

    What’s the giveaway? The 50/50 revenue split.

    NFL’S players only get around 48 percent of the revenue per the collective bargaining agreement. College players will will certainly soon have the rights to their own names, images, and likenesses, but they will never ever ever get a share of the revenue of college football.

    Nor should they. They are getting a free education. They should use that education to learn some things to help them out for the rest of their lives.

    Only a small percentage will ever make it into the pros. That is their reward for being the best of the best on the college level.

    I know people who’ve been out of school for 20 to 30 years who are still paying off their student loans. No one should look at that free education lightly as if it didn’t matter.

    Carpenter is rabble rousing and blowing smoke. Nothing more.

  38. While I understand the risk these students face, as we all do, these students receive the best care and education possible for free. If they choose a different route they need to let others have their scholarship and let them decide. the same goes for the pros. If it bothers you to play then quit . Fans will be behind anyone willing to play the game how it was meant to be played.

    1. Now players want to go on strike if their demands are not met. Not just safety concerns which I understand but also economic incentives to play. The Pac 12 has had problems for awhile and this only adds to the pile. If CU gets a chance to go back to the Big 12 they would be foolish not to jump at the chance.

  39. Been watching a lot of history stuff in the last few weeks, not just the pandemic, but about various events of the 20th century that include WW1, the pandemic & the 1919 depression & then the roaring 20s & prohibition. So, more than a few things went bad before the roaring 20s, but once things went back to normal, the wants & needs took over & for about 9 years they had some good times & prosperity … even w/ prohibition.

    My point is simply that this won’t blow over in two or three months, but it will in time, just not in time for the immediate “wants”. We may just need to take a season off to keep our students, players, coaches & all others involved safe.

    It sucks, but I’m prepping for the worst, BUT hoping for something better, somewhere in between will probably happen (I hope); better than hoping for the best, but not being prepared for the worst.

    Maybe something in between can happen in the spring, but maybe we won’t see these athletes back until next year; only time will tell.

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