The levels of uncertainty between college football fans everywhere have been answered today as the Big Ten announced the postponement of fall sports, including football.
They join the MAC (and later the Pac-12) as the second FBS league to do so.
Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman released a statement that began with, “My heart hurts for our student-athletes and coaches.”
And in one sentence, Whitman unknowingly spoke not only for himself, but for the feelings of most Big Ten fans.
Head coach Lovie Smith talked with media just two hours before the announcement. The fifth-year coach was flooded with questions about whether there would be a season or not, and how he’s handling it.
Truth is, even Smith was unsure.
“For us, I asked our football team to control what we can control,” Smith said. “Now that practice is over I’m trying to get more information and see where we are. But we’ve just made the decision that we’re going to keep going full speed ahead until someone tells us otherwise.”
And as it turns out, they’ve been told otherwise.
In that news conference, Smith emphasized the number of meetings he’s been in since April with athletic directors, coaches, and more, in regards to what it would be like to have a canceled or postponed fall season.
Of course, there are plans and a future in this world that nobody is certain about. Seniors have expressed their concern about their own futures, some seniors were relying on this season to guide their future, and without it, what will they do? Is their eligibility extended?
If Covid is still around in the spring (which I’m sure it will be) what’s the difference? Then it’s going to get delayed again.. Now seniors gotta make a decision, Do We stay and play or do We declare??? Such a messed up situation for us ♂️ ♂️.. All I can say is God be with us— T.Boogi3 (@TrevonSidney) August 11, 2020
There are also roster questions that will need to be answered. Smith touched on that Tuesday, as well.
“First off we want to play right now,” Smith said. “If we don’t play right now we, as coaches, administrators, all that have to figure out how we handle our rosters as we go forward. We have a lot of freshmen of course that want to come in a little bit later on, how do we handle that? Those are the questions we have to answer.”
The increasing levels of uncertainty aren’t fun for anyone. There are players who rely on this sport to keep them safe, to help them through tough times, to keep them healthy. There are coaches, staff members, media members, and many more who rely on this sport for a living.
Being in this same, complicated position five months later is disheartening, and it’s hard to see where the future of college sports will go.