Kirk Herbstreit talks CFB contingency plans, says football in spring would be 'last-ditch effort'
We’re nearing the end of April and it’s still unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the college football season. As we already know, though, decision-makers within the sport are putting every single option on the table right now.
Billions of dollars are at stake when it comes to having a college football season. Jobs, opportunities, sports programs and athletic departments could be wiped out at several schools across the country if the 2020 season isn’t played. There’s too much on the line for commissioners and athletic directors to sit idly by right now.
On a recent conference call, Kirk Herbstreit was asked about some of the contingency plans that are being discussed among those decision makers in college football.
“If everything’s OK, status quo, show up on campus in July, two-a-days, regular season, here we go, that’s the first contingency,” Herbsrtreit said, according to The Detroit News. “Then they build it all the way back, the second, the third, the fourth (contingencies), all the way back to the willingness to start in late February or March, turning it into a spring sport and playing in March, April and May and playing postseason in June, which would be, I think, a last-ditch effort, which just proves how willing the administrators are with the NCAA and the conference commissioners and the ADs and the presidents to have a college football season.
“They’re going to do everything they can if it comes to that extreme to be able to potentially have a 2020 season. A lot of this is kind of a feeling out process, and we’re just going to wait to see what the data shows. I’m going to turn on the TV (now) and I’m sure something new has happened with how to get a test for this and what makes the most sense in taking care of the athletes and making sure we don’t send them back just because we’ve got to make our bottom line. Next thing you know, somebody gets it and dies. You imagine what would happen to the NFL or college football if they hurried back and a player or a coach or a referee or somebody gets this virus and dies? That’s something they’ve got to think about and they obviously want to avoid.”
Playing an entire college football in the spring has become one of the trending contingency plans in the media. It would be an incredibly difficult task, though.
A spring season would interfere with the NFL Draft process, while also creating a health and safety issue for players. Assuming the 2021 season would continue as scheduled in the fall, teams could play between 24-30 games in less than a calendar year.
Herbstreit admitted it would be a challenge, but it may be a realistic option to ensure the season is played.
“Can you imagine? How bizarre would that be?” Herbstreit said. “It just goes to show you how far we are willing to go to get our football. But this is desperate measures. We are all in uncharted waters. We’re in a world we’re trying to adjust every day to and being quarantined. If it means we have to push it back to starting in December, starting in January or starting in February or March, then so be it. Then that’s what has to happen.”
Many are speculating that some kind of decision about the college football season will be made by late May.