A few days have passed since Kirk Herbstreit provided a gloom-and-doom outlook on the 2020 college football season, but his comments are still receiving plenty of attention. It’s not the good kind of attention, though.
Late last week, Herbstreit said he’d be “shocked” if the college football season was played this fall due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It was a grim perspective from the longtime ESPN analyst.
At least one athletic director, Kansas State’s Gene Taylor, did not appreciate Herbstreit’s comments.
“I appreciate Kirk becoming a medical doctor and telling us what we should or shouldn’t do,” Taylor said, according to John Kurtz of KMAN in Manhattan, Kansas. “I’m not ready to go there yet.”
K-State AD Gene Taylor was frustrated with Kirk Herbstreit saying he’d be "shocked" to see football played this fall:
“I appreciate Kirk becoming a medical doctor and telling us what we should or shouldn’t do. I’m not ready to go there yet.”
— John Kurtz (@jlkurtz) March 31, 2020
With so many sports being canceled or postponed as the world deals with a public health crisis, it’s important for the NCAA, conference commissioners and athletic directors to work together in the event that action needs to be taken in regards to the college football season. But all are keeping an optimistic approach right now, with five months until kickoff.
ESPN College GameDay host on Herbstreit’s colleague Rece Davis echoed similar sentiments as Taylor, though he wasn’t quite as bitter towards Herbie’s comments.
“I’m far more optimistic and more hopeful than Kirk’s quote there at this point. I just think that’s a little bit premature at this juncture while offering the caveat that there is so much unknown out there,” Davis said on ESPN’s First Take. “Kirk’s right based on everything I’ve read in terms of medical experts, in terms of the facts. I’m hopeful and optimistic that with so many people working on this that we’re going to have some kind of treatment, some type of break over the next several weeks that will make it far more feasible to have football. At this point, I’m far more optimistic. Might there be adjustments to the schedule? Might things change a little bit in terms of how the business is conducted? Sure.
“All I’m saying is that I think we’re a little premature. Because all you have to do is look back at the recent stats and look at the number of people in New York City, which has been decimated, and six weeks ago we’re encouraging people to go to festivals. Now that seems foolish. What I’m saying is on the other side of that, it’s not just hopeful optimism and belief in the power of people to figure things out. It’s saying, let’s wait and see. We have some time. We have the best minds in the world working on (a cure). It’s not just a vaccine, it’s treatment options, how will the virus react at different times of the year, things that we don’t know.”
No college football would be devastating to the world of collegiate athletics across the country. While most athletic directors are planning for the worst, they are certainly hoping for the best.