As the coronavirus has continued to run through the United States, the conversation around the upcoming college football season has changed. Maybe the season is delayed to later in the fall, or maybe it's pushed all the way to the spring.
No chance, says Urban Meyer.
"When you play 2,000 competitive reps, your body is not ready for contact in three months or two months," Meyer said in a special edition of Fox's Big Noon Kickoff (via Eleven Warriors). "It’s not. I would not put those players in harm’s way."
“You talk about student-athlete welfare, no chance. You’re not doing that."
There are a number of issues and risks in possibly pushing the season to the spring, and Meyer obviously brings up the most important one. Pushing the season to the spring, beginning hypothetically in February or March, would be asking players to play anywhere from 24 to 30 games in a 9-ish month period.
On top of that, there are a host of other logistical issues:
-- What happens if Mother Nature dumps an ice or snow storm on northern football fields in the early part of a spring season? After all, there's a reason football developed as a fall sport in the first place.
-- Would class of 2021 early enrollees be allowed to play, essentially giving teams two freshman classes?
-- If the NFL refuses to move back the draft, how would teams handle losing draft-eligible players, on top of seniors who graduate in December and don't stick around to play a spring season?
And the big one:
-- There's no guarantee the situation in our country will be any better in January and February than it is today. We all think testing and treatments will be advanced six months from now, but we thought the same back in March, too. What then?
Those are all secondary issues to the issue many people have raised, and the Urban raised forcefully this week: Is it fair, is it safe to ask players to play two seasons in a calendar year?