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Cal Football

New Doubts Arise About Playing Football Season

July 3, 2020
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Optimism that the Pac-12 football season would be played as scheduled, which was trending upward a couple of weeks ago, is fading.

Commissioner Larry Scott, in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News has backed off on his recent statement regarding the games likely being played, citing of the spike in Covid-19 cases, especially in Southern California and Arizona.

“I was cautiously optimistic … but the last couple weeks have changed everyone’s outlook because of the extent to which restarting the economy and loosening restrictions has led to significant outbreaks,” Scott said.

“I still want to be cautiously optimistic, but if there’s no change in society’s response and behavior, which results in a quick flattening of the curve and a decrease in the spread of the virus, that would lead to a much more pessimistic view about our campuses being able to open and our ability to play college sports.”

Among the scenarios Scott laid out, in addition to canceling the season totally, were an abbreviated 10-game schedule of conference games only; a delayed start to the season or a postponement of the season until the spring; or even a partial schedule with some conference schools canceling their seasons and others going forward..

He said that “everything is on the table,” and whatever choice is made could be done quickly. 

“We could turn on a dime because of all the legwork we’ve put in,” Scott said. 

Cal has permitted athletes to return to campus for voluntary workouts under strict guidelines, wearing masks, social distancing, etc. At the last report, three athletes have tested positive for the virus although it is not clear if they were football players.

The Bears open their season a week earlier than most, Aug. 29 at UNLV. so the Bears would need to start training camp before the end of the month to make that happen.

USC fans are particularly worried because it seems as if most, if not all, of their classes this fall will be conducted remotely. USC provost Charles F. Zukowski and senior vice president David Wright released a letter on Wednesday stating as much:

"Given the continuing safety restrictions and limited densities permissible on campus, our undergraduate students primarily or exclusively will be taking their courses online in the fall term, and on-campus housing and activities will be limited. While not what we hoped, we are now recommending all undergraduates take their courses online, and reconsider living on or close to campus this semester. We are continuing with limited in-person, on-campus activity because we believe we can keep students, researchers, staff, and faculty safe with our low-density plan."

Having a football season with no students on campus seems unlikely.

USA Today reported that the University of Arizona president Robert Robbins, when recently  asked whether the school would be able to open, said no.  It was reported that the Wildcats have halted their voluntary training routines, at least for the time being.

Although the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball, are planning to compete in one form or another, Scott pointed out that college sports are a different animal. Even if the playing the games themselves does not represent a serious risk – even that is subject to debate – collegiate life carries its own perils.

“There is growing data that suggests playing sports may not be that risky, given what we see from European soccer and some studies,” Scott said. “The much bigger issue is what the student athletes, and all students, are doing when they’re back on campus.”

Scott said he is not going alone on this. In addition to regular communication with the leader of the conference schools he said he speaks “practically every morning” with other Power Five commissioners. He indicated the conferences have remained aligned in their outlooks and planning for the fall.

Thus far, the Power Five has declined to place a “hard and fast deadline” for a decision on the regular season.

“It could be in the next week that we make a clear pivot or three weeks from now — either individual schools, conferences or the collective,” Scott said.

“Or we could keep putting one foot in front of the other and things start to look better.”

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Discussion from...

New Doubts Arise About Playing Football Season

2,840 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by heartofthebear
Bobodeluxe
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Hoax. It will be gone any day. Drink and gamble.
BearoutEast67
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What is a Commionser?
CALiforniALUM
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Funny how some of the people on this site who so badly want and make arguments for playing the season seemingly also tend to take a dismissive view regarding COVID, the dangers, the risks and the guiding measures to control it.

Vote against your own interests much? Shoot yourself in the foot frequently? Jump off a bridge often?
heartofthebear
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CALiforniALUM said:

Funny how some of the people on this site who so badly want and make arguments for playing the season seemingly also tend to take a dismissive view regarding COVID, the dangers, the risks and the guiding measures to control it.

Vote against your own interests much? Shoot yourself in the foot frequently? Jump off a bridge often?
I'm betting those people aren't subject to law suits should someone get sick and/or die from Covid. Most of the institutions involved here (namely the schools and the conferences) have that kind of liability. Threat of lawsuit usually trumps personal philosophy and world view. IOW, it doesn't matter what the officials believe about the safety of the situation because their personal beliefs do not stand a chance in a law suit.
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