Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was a guest of Scott Van Pelt on Sports Center last night talking about how COVID-19 has impacted the Fighting Irish. For those who couldn’t stay up for the west coast Sports Center, myself included, Kelly gave a deadline for when teams need to be back to some semblance of normalcy for the college football season not to be impacted.
“There’s going to be a date that we come up with that from a player’s safety standpoint that we have to state, this is the date that we can live with to get these young men physically conditioned and ready to go into camp,” Kelly told Van Pelt.
Before Kelly could continue that thought, Van Pelt quickly asked him what that date was in his mind right now. “To me, I think July 1,” Kelly answered back promptly.
“If you can’t start training your football team by July 1, you’re going to need at least four weeks,” he said. “Strength and conditioning coaches are going to want six. Sports medicine is probably looking at four to six weeks. I think the realistic goal is a minimum of four weeks of conditioning before you put them in camp.”
Without that much time, Kelly cautioned that the season could be impacted. “You know, college football is going to be affected if we’re not playing in 90 in terms of the conditioning element of getting these young men ready.”
So there you have it. Is that doable? That probably depends on who you ask. If you’re listening to medical experts like Dr. Fauci, then you know that we haven’t even seen the worst of this crisis and that some experts think that we’re still three weeks from reaching the worst of it in the United States. Considering there are some states where orders to stay at home haven’t even been issued yet, that shouldn’t be too hard to believe.
Now, also consider that just earlier this week, there were still a bunch of drunken college students in Florida on spring break, ignoring all warnings. They are just going back to their homes throughout the country right now as well, and well, you can start to see why some are questioning whether or not the 2020 season will be impacted. We discussed this on the UHND Podcast on Sunday.
When things do start to return to normal, you have to wonder where college students and athletes will fit into the waves of those who return to work/school first. Some secondary schools around the country have already canceled classes for the rest of the 2020 school year.
July 1 sounds like a long time from now, but we are also living in unprecedented times, and no one really knows what the future brings right now. With every passing day that people don’t take this outbreak seriously or try to rush back to work and back to crowded spaces, though, the likelihood of college football being impacted increases.
Stay home, be safe, and stay healthy, and hopefully, we all are still able to enjoy college football this fall.