On the heels of the ACC and SEC's decisions yesterday that they would be cancelling spring sports and practices, including spring games (but they have not shut the door on spring football practices returning just yet), there are many, many more questions floating around out there than there are answers at this point.
Just a few weeks ago, the thought of cancelling the conference and NCAA tournament seemed outright silly. But then the decision to do just that from the NCAA came, and the cancellation of spring sports by leagues followed shortly thereafter.
Many college football coaches and fans can't help but wonder how the fall season is going to be impacted and look different. Some teams were able to get as many as six spring practices in, but many had them cancelled before ever starting. For coaches breaking in first-year staffs and schemes, there is a ton of uncertainty moving forward into fall and spring.
Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk shared an update via the Mizzou website earlier this morning that attempted to answer some of those questions and concerns, but what has really captured the attention of a lot of folks is his mention that the sports world we've all been living in may be about to change dramatically.
Here's an excerpt from the release:
"It is my belief that intercollegiate athletics as well as the world in which we live in are going to be operating differently than what we have been accustomed at least in the short term. There will be a new normal."
"What that looks like for universities across the nation as well as their athletics programs will depend upon how hard, and how long this pandemic hits our community and the nation. I believe that we are more likely in the early stages of our challenges than the end, but I am confident that we will get through this, no matter how long it takes. It is important to remain calm and level-headed while doing what is absolutely necessary to keep yourself and your family, and most importantly, our student-athletes safe and healthy."
Sterk goes on the share that SEC athletic directors are doing a number of things remotely, including meeting daily via conference calls to discuss pertinent issues surrounding student-athlete welfare, eligibility, adjusted practice and playing seasons, and a host of other issues. He also adds that the focus and conversations are shifting to how things will function next year based upon the limited spring competition time and practices.
While Sterk's update doesn't provide any definitive answers for coaches and fans, it does prompt us to prepare for a "new normal." Exactly what that looks like will be revealed over the coming days and months, but changes of some sort seems almost inevitable at this point.