While college football players are returning to campus to prepare for a fall season, there's still serious concern about the direction that things are heading in. Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer is still preparing for things to progress as scheduled.
As shown by The New York Times, Tennessee is among the states in which COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Many college football-heavy states, including most of SEC country, is experiencing the worst spread since the coronavirus really took hold in March. There's no real telling where things will end up by late August/early September.
If we do have college football in the fall, most schools are preparing to have limited capacity, if there are fans in attendance at all. As of now, Fulmer says that the plan is to have 100,000+ at Neyland Stadium on Saturdays. From there, he says it is easier to scale things down than to scale things up, if need be.
Fulmer appeared on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville to discuss all of these issues facing his program and college football as a whole. His comments on attendance have gotten attention in particular.
“I am confident. I think we’ll play,” Fulmer told the show, per 247Sports. “I don't think anybody knows exactly yet what that will look like.
"We’re planning on a full stadium and adjust from there. If we don’t, we’re in trouble ...It’s easier to adjust down than adjust up. Hopeful that the trend will turn back down after it’s turned up in our country in places. Bend the curve back down and we can all participate if we want to.”
Staying optimistic is fine, and a decision on attendance probably doesn't need to come now. If fans want any shot at a true Neyland Stadium atmosphere this fall, fighting the virus now in Tennessee and around SEC Country is pivotal. Hopefully we'll start to see some serious progress as we approach the fall.