Is Fall Football in Jeopardy?

CLEVELAND--Weekends in the fall are made for football. We know about High School Friday nights, College Football Saturdays and NFL Sundays. It's the way we operated for years and years after a long week of work. Representing our local schools on Friday, our favorite college teams on Saturdays and yelling at our favorite pro team on Sundays. But in a year in which COVID19 has taken over our world, football can no longer pretend COVID19 doesn't exist.

Currently, all three levels of football are in danger of significantly altering or cancelling their seasons.


Browns Center and newly appointed President if the NFL Players Association JC Tretter had this to say to the NFL:

The players are highly concerned about COVID19 testing with training camp scheduled to begin on Tuesday July 28th and the regular season kicking off Thursday September 10th. Tretter says "players don't just want to return to work; we want to stay at work." The NFLPA Board of Player Representatives voted (unanimously) against any 2020 preseason games due to lack of medical reasons to play.

If the NFL doesn't provide any realistic plans for play (beyond the no swapping jerseys rule), the 2020 season will not happen. Previously, the NFL and the NFLPA created a Joint Committee of Doctors in which strength coaches and trainers develop protocols with the goal of getting players in full speed when they return. The breaking point was the 48-day training camp schedule without preseason games. The NFL wants to use at least two preseason games to "test" the COVID protocols yet the NFLPA is arguing its not necessary.

College Football

How can I tell 18-22 year old football players not to party with the rest of the student body? The NCAA usually has no issues handing out suspensions, but they have no leadership when it comes to COVID19. The Big Ten and Pac 12 are going to a conference-only schedule. But many colleges have already cut their sports, the uncertainly of COVID19 testing will put these players at-risk. The Big Ten is offering players to keep their scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year if they opt out due to COVID19 concerns. The SEC wants to look at every opportunity to play because so much money is a stake.

High School

The Gov Mike DeWine, Lt Gov Jon Husted and the OHSAA is pushing the slogan #IWantASeason

The OHSAA plan to proceed like normal with fall sports beginning on August 1st.

With the required testing, schools may have a tough time affording testing in their schools. However, summer baseball/softball travel leagues have found a way to play with new rules. Kids are less likely to get the virus but its still possible to get it and pass it along to their parents, grandparents, etc... Will the OHSAA adjust these sports for Spring 2021? We'll see...

Final Guesses (As of 7/14/2020)

NFL: 30 Day Training Camp starting late August after NFLPA/NFL agreegment, NFL regular season delayed by 2 weeks.

NCAAFB: Power 5 conferences will play their own schedule without bowl games. College Football Playoff ONLY with Power 5 schools involved. Other conferences will not play football.

OHSAA: Shorten Spring season. 6 game regular season, expanded playoffs.

Listen Live to Sunday Nights with Anthony Alford on WTAM 1100AM/106.9FM and iHeartRadio 8-10pmET.

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