We've already seen coronavirus wipe out March Madness and spring sports. Could college football suffer the same fate?
It is too early to tell, but there are some people within the sport who are worried. Recently, Florida AD Scott Stricklin expressed his concern about the potential fallout from a canceled season.
"It would shake the financial foundation of college athletics," Stricklin said.
Stricklin isn't the only person feeling this way. During an appearance on WJOX 94.5 FM's "The RoundTable," ESPN radio host Paul Finebaum addressed the AD's comments and the uncertainty surrounding the immediate future of college football.
“I believe they’re very concerned, Jim, and I think there’s a hope that the season will get underway, I just don’t know in what shape or form,” Finebaum said. “And you’ve heard, as we’ve all heard, that the athletic directors, communicate with Commissioner Sankey every day and I think they’re just, I’m sure they’re probably going over a list of possibilities — what if (possibilities). And I thought Scott was about as buttoned-down as anyone we talked to date, because you know he is that type of organizer and facilitator and right now it just kind of like everything else, we don’t know.
"All these athletic departments are prepared for difficulty, but none of them are prepared for a shortening of the football season or a collapse of the football season. And I mean the trickle-down of that would be catastrophic.”
Finebaum goes on to discuss the time commitment of college football and how the sport is a year-round entity. Spring football plays an integral role in a program, as does the opportunity to have a full training camp.
We've already seen recruiting get affected in a major way.
“Football is, you know, is April, it’s March and April, it’s July, it’s every month, really, under the sun. And I think that’s what, from a sports standpoint, I think that’s really what we’re focusing on. And I just think it’s impossible to tell. And the reason why I think that is, whenever this whole thing starts to flatten out, and I’m not going to go, you know, [Dr.] Tony Fauci on you, will get a clearer picture of what we all look like."
Finebaum does make a good point here. We won't know for sure until we get a few more weeks of testing and infection numbers to determine if coronavirus is still spreading exponentially or if things have slowed down.
When we reach that point, we might get a better idea if a 2020 college football season is in the cards.