ESPN college football analyst, Kirk Herbstreit, says he will be “shocked” if there is a football season this fall.
Herbstreit feels it is just too dangerous with the COVID-19 virus for football season to happen in 2020. The longtime star of ESPN’s “College GameDay” said on ESPN Radio Thursday night, he is worried about the situation football can put on the coronavirus pandemic if the sport is to be played this coming fall.
“I’ll be shocked if we have NFL Football this fall, if we have college football,” he said. “I’ll be surprised if that happens.”
Herbstreit explains, from the people he has been listening to, it is anywhere from 12 to 18 months before a vaccine will be made to stop the spreading of the coronavirus.
“I don’t know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball,” he said on ESPN Radio. “I just don’t know how you can do it with the optics of it.”
Herbstreit continued by saying if he was in charge of the NFL or the NCAA he would go ahead and shut everything down, avoiding the chance there is a locker room full of guys getting sick.
“As much as I hate to say it, I think we’re scratching the surface of where this thing is gonna go,” he said.
Another concern Herbstreit has is how long do the people in charge go on before making a decision. Herbstreit’s point backs up what college coaches have been saying the last couple of days. If they are to have a season, they need to know by a certain time when they can start preparing their players for it.
“You don’t all of a sudden come up with something in July and August and say, ‘Okay, we’re good to go!’ and turn them loose,” he said.
Of course, two of Herbstreit’s sons play for Clemson. Jake Herbstreit is a reserve defensive back, while Tye Herbstreit is a reserve wide receiver for the Tigers.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney isn’t sure what the future holds for college football.
“I think everybody has concern… I am not an expert on any of this stuff, that is for sure,” Swinney said earlier this week. “So, I think safety is first and foremost. All you can do is let all the powers that be make the decisions and you go with it.”
On March 12, the ACC canceled the rest of its basketball tournament and then the NCAA followed by canceling all of its winter and spring championships. The ACC has since canceled its spring sports season, as has the SEC, the Big Ten and the other Power 5 conferences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has quickly swept over the United States.
The Power 5 Conferences not only shut down competition for the rest of the spring, but all of its activities, including spring football practices have been canceled. Some schools, like Virginia, did not get an opportunity to even start spring practice.
The NBA has postponed its season and Major League Baseball delayed the start of its season. The summer Olympics was even been moved to the summer of 2021. As of right now, there is no sports being played anywhere and some wonder if this pandemic will spread to football season.
“I very hopeful that we will be back at it,” Swinney said. “I just think the God Lord is good all the time. This is a unique time in our lives. I am 50. I have never lived through anything like this. My mom was telling me the other day, because she is a polio survivor and she had polio back in the 1940s. That was a scary thing when they did not have a polio vaccine and she was talking about how in different times in life we always have challenges in America. But I know this, God is good all the time and His light will shine through in this darkness for everyone.”
As far as football goes, Swinney says he will remain hopeful and he will prepare his program the best way he can in these tough times.
“There is certainly concern, but instead of being concerned, I am just being faithful and just trying to keep my eyes on the Good Lord and know that something great is going to come from all of this,” he said. “Also, just keeping all those in my thoughts and prayers that are really struggling. I mean this is a tough time, and I am just hopeful that it will be over sooner rather than later and we can step up and make a difference for those people who have been negatively impacted by all of this.”
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