Dabo Swinney is extremely optimistic about the chances that 2020 will have a football season. After all, he said, this is America.
The Clemson coach had a teleconference on Friday and said that he had “zero doubt” that football will happen this season despite the coronavirus pandemic canceling programs’ spring practices and putting summer workouts in doubt. Clemson was set to have its spring game on Saturday.
Why does Swinney have no doubt football will happen? Good ol’ fashioned American ingenuity.
“I mean, this is America, man,” Swinney told reporters “We’ve stormed the beaches of Normandy, we’ve sent a car and drove around on Mars, we’ve walked on the moon. This is the greatest country and the greatest people in the history of the planet. We’ve created an iPhone that I can sit here and talk to all you people all these different places. We’ve got the smartest people in the world. Listen, we’re going to rise up and we’re going to kick this thing right in the teeth, and we’ll get back to our lives. That’s a long time away, man. I mean, this is April the 3rd.”
Swinney is right. America is a pretty ingenious place. And we appreciate his optimism about the 2020 season. Optimism can be refreshing in this current climate.
But we haven’t been at the forefront of ingenuity so far when it comes to containing the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC’s Dr. Anthony Fauci was on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s SiriusXM show on Thursday and said, “We’re not even at halftime, Coach K. We’re just fighting it out,” when it comes to our battle against the virus.
Cases have exploded in the United States over the last couple of weeks and many cities aren’t expected to reach their peak coronavirus cases until later in the spring.
Without widespread testing or a vaccine, there’s no telling how long that social distancing measures could be in place across the United States. And that’s why it’s far from a guarantee that the college football season could start on time. Teams would have to be able to safely practice together by the start of August, at the latest, to get ready for the season to start as scheduled.
ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit said last week that he’d be “shocked” if there was a football season because of the lack of a vaccine and other factors. Herbstreit’s comments drew the ire of some in college football, including Kansas State athletic director Gene Taylor and Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz.
College administrators don’t want to have to think about canceling or postponing the college football season because football is the sport that helps keep all others afloat at universities because it’s the primary revenue driver. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby acknowledged that in March when he said it would be a “whole new ballgame” when it came to conference payouts to schools if the coronavirus impacted football season.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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