The global pandemic of COVID-19, aka coronavirus, has essentially shut down the entire world of sports including Notre Dame football. After the NBA suspended its season on Wednesday night, almost every other league has followed suit resulting in the cancelation of all basketball conference tournaments, March Madness, and now the Notre Dame Blue-Gold game. Spring practice as a whole, of which Notre Dame has 14 remaining practices, is suspended with the chance of it being completed at some point.
It was only a matter of time. Once the NBA suspended games last night following Rudy Gobert’s positive test for the coronavirus, it seemed inevitable that other sports would quickly follow suit – especially a sport like football with so much contact and touching. Here’s what Brian Kelly had to say over Twitter today.
To our team, our fans and to all – stay safe. pic.twitter.com/Eqxnm8XrmA
— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) March 12, 2020
The way things are going, this was unavoidable and it’s 100% the right decision. Just like all of the conferences and major sports leagues, it’s only prudent to postpone or cancel all of these activities because as much as we all love them, they are not even close to essential.
From a pure football perspective, it will be interesting to see what the NCAA does here in terms of allowing programs to still use whatever number of practices they have left. If this stretches into mid to late April, will they let schools use their spring practices in May or June? Most scholarship athletes are on campus in June and July anyway.
All of that will be decided at a later date though and at this point is also still very much secondary to the health and safety of everyone involved.
For a bit of context here, when the coronavirus hit China initially, the Chinese Basketball Association suspended league play in early January and isn’t expected to start back up again until April making for a 10-week period. If that were to be the case with all American sports, we’d be looking at collegiate sports potentially starting back up again in late May/early June. That’s where things will get interesting for the NCAA.
Do all of these practices just go away essentially? Will they let teams make them up in fall camp? All questions no one has the answers to today and all questions that, honestly, don’t really need to be answered right now.
From our perspective here at UHND, we’ll still keep posting articles between now and whenever sports resume. We still have a lot of thoughts about the team that we never posted before spring practice started that we can still share.
We hope all our readers and their loved ones stay safe and healthy during this time.