We’re still a few months from (hopefully) the start of the college football season, but there’s a lot going on in the sport these days. Let’s try to catch up on the top headlines from the past week.
State the Obvious
A lot of us have probably been thinking it, but NCAA president Mark Emmert went on the record saying this week that college football and other fall sports won’t be played this year if campuses don’t welcome back all students at the start of the fall semester. Emmert says he’s spoken to countless school presidents who agree that student-athletes won’t return to campus unless all students do.
That will likely complicate things because different schools will take different actions based on conditions in specific areas. Meanwhile, athletic directors and conference commissioners are kicking the tires on several possible scenarios with Emmert saying a decision about fall sports is likely to come by the fourth of July.
Not Everyone’s Invited
This week, Penn State coach James Franklin mentioned the possibility of conferences playing football this season, even if 100% of their members aren’t able to participate. Franklin says he expects restrictions in various states to be “way inconsistent,” making it difficult to ensure every school in a conference is on the same page as the other.
Meanwhile, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey made similar comments about one or two programs not holding everyone else back from playing. Sankey also noted that “There is room for different conferences to make different decisions,” perhaps indicating that the SEC is more determined to find a way to play games this fall.
Assuming there is a college football season this year, the Big 12 and Pac-12 have already announced that they’ll play it safe by having virtual media days. The AAC, MAC, Mountain West, and Conference USA have already made the same decision, but the Big 12 and Pac-12 doing so carries more weight, as they are power conferences.
Meanwhile, the ACC, SEC, and Big Ten have yet to announce any amendments to their scheduled media days.
What in the world is happening in Lexington? The Kentucky Wildcats have lost five players to the transfer portal in a little over a week. Defensive linemen Cavon Butler and Davoan Hawkins, wide receiver B.J. Alexander, tight end Drew Schlegel, and quarterback Amani Gilmore have all entered the transfer portal.
Of course, merely entering the transfer portal doesn’t guarantee they will transfer, although it’s rare to lose this many players to the portal in such a short period.
No Legacy Here
Speaking of the transfer portal, Alabama quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, has announced his intentions to transfer. Taulia was the Crimson Tide’s third-string quarterback behind his brother this past season.
However, the rising sophomore is expected to remain third on the depth chart behind Mac Jones and incoming freshman Bryce Young in 2020. He will likely try to find a school where playing time is more realistic.
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