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Andy Hodges

Having college campuses open doesn’t rule out classes still being online

Missouri athletics director pointsd out the glaring omission most people have made in trying to guess whether there will be college football starting in the summer.



It was Missouri athletics director Jim Sterk who pointed out the glaring omission most people have made in trying to guess whether there will be college football starting in the summer.

“Campus, if it’s operational, we can have sports,” Sterk said in a teleconference Thursday. “Classes are a different matter. If a school is online, it doesn’t necessarily prevent athletic events from happening.”

Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg read it basically the same way I did which is why the SEC vote coming up next week will probably provide some kind of advancement for sports beginning June 1.

“If there’s a closed campus schools probably aren’t going to be able to host games whether that’s football or any other fall sport,” he said Friday afternoon with Derek Ruscin and Zach Arns (Ruscin & Zach) on ESPN Arkansas. “If instruction is online but campus is open, we can probably still do that.”

“I’m convinced the college football season is going to be held in some shape or form,” Bromberg said. “I don’t know necessarily if all 130 FBS teams will be playing.”

Now I’ve been saying that since all this started. The reason is very simple because nobody can afford to let it fail.

“There’s going to be a college football season because we know just how much football subsidizes every other program,” he said.

Some smaller schools have already started cutting non-revenue programs. It will probably wreak havoc on the pre-built schedules and may actually get the SEC to each team playing nine conference games (a move Alabama’s Nick Saban has pushed for a couple of years) and more regional non-conference games.

The financial landscape is going to change and the biggest effects from this shutdown is going to be felt more a couple of years down the road.

For smaller programs the money is going to get tight.

Pro sports are inching their way back to playing games. Major league baseball is planning a start around July 4. NBA players are pushing to get things rolling there for some kind of season.

Even the NFL has opened their buildings for the first time in awhile beginning this coming week.

Like a lot of other things, it’s about the money.

“That’s only going to build,” Bromberg said.

To follow the NASCAR model of compartmentalizing things, college football would have to limit players to position groups which won’t be much of an issue until August when you have to start getting the team together.

It will depend on what happens with the coronavirus. There is no way to have a consistent test that produces results fast enough to really be accurate for more than a few minutes.

Take the test, it shows negative, walk outside and, in theory anyway, that person could become positive. That’s one of the handful of problems with contagious viruses. Short of being in a bubble there’s no way to avoid it.

It’s why NASCAR is not doing the testing at the track. It’s almost impossible to accomplish and the numbers are starting to show being outside or in open environments is safer than staying inside.

“I don’t know how it gets in August,” Bromberg said. “At the same time, as we have learned, our whole world could be completely different in six weeks.”

And, yes, the whole issue has falling into the quagmire of politics where common sense and good judgement don’t collied very often.

“It’s another part of the conversation we keep having over and over again,” Bromberg said.

And it’s politics that will provide a margin of error that might be pretty small.

“If you screw up that one shot, you’re second chance is not going to be nearly as good as the first one,” he said.

That’s why patience is going to be the most valuable thing for fans right now.

It’s required when you’re trying to hit a moving target.


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