Folks, there is potentially some light at the end of the tunnel with the COVID-19 pandemic effects on college football.
As Mack Brown told Paul Finebaum on his appearance on the Paul Finebaum show on Tuesday afternoon, from what he is hearing, teams may be able to be back together by July. "I'm hearing we may be able to come back as a team in July,” Brown told Finebaum. “That's the first time it looks like they might let us come back to campus. That would give us a month to prepare for our preseason, starting in August.” Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Tar Heels were not able to take the field for spring practice. The good news is that most of the installments that take place in spring camp have been able to be done over Zoom where most of the team’s meetings are taking place.
One of the ideas that has been tossed around has been that college football could potentially put in an NFL-like OTA period in early July if teams were allowed to return by that time. As Zach Barnett of FootballScoops.com points to, the issue is, there are many challenges with this option, especially for the lower end FBS school, some of whom have already had to drop certain scholarship sports to save money the schools simply don’t have at the moment. Having to bring student athletes back on campus and finding them food and places to stay while most campuses will likely be undergoing major disinfecting to be ready for the upcoming school will likely be too tough to navigate.
That means that the next time teams will likely be able to take the field together will be in early August, leaving very little time for teams to build chemistry and get younger players prepared for the upcoming season. The good news is that this is not just a Tar Heel or even ACC problem. Outside of the few programs that went through their spring practices in late February and early March, most teams have yet to see any significant period of time together on the practice field, meaning they’ll have to scramble to be ready for the start of the college football season, which as of right now is still scheduled to start on time.
The Heel Tough Blog will have you covered with all of the latest updates on the plans for the 2020 football season, one that is scheduled to kickoff for the Tar Heel in Orlando against Central Florida on September 4th.