Happy Thursday, everyone. The big news of the day is that the NCAA has approved the June 1 return of football players to campus, along with men’s and women’s basketball players. This is merely permission and not a requirement, but the SEC vote tomorrow is likely a mere formality at this point. It will be up to conferences and schools to make the final call. The University of Wyoming was the first to announce that their players will indeed be returning on that date.
Ohio State AD Gene Smith said that they are planning to play games in front of as few as 20K fans in the horseshoe. Something is better than nothing, and even in a big city like Columbus there are local businesses that are dependent on college football to make ends meet. Every effort is being made to have a season, which happens to start a hundred days from now.
One SEC coach told ESPN this week that his athletic department’s plan for players returning to campus, which remains a work in progress, includes testing all players when they come back and keeping them quarantined until the results are known.
The first month would include only strength and conditioning, with coaches dividing players into perhaps 10 to 15 pods. The pods would be determined by the players’ living arrangements; roommates in apartments and players living in the same dorms would be placed in pods together to mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus.
Workouts would begin at about 7 a.m. and wouldn’t end until around 6 p.m., as the groups rotated through the weight room each day. Players would enter through the same entrance in the football building, where medical staff would take their temperatures. Players would be required to practice social distancing in the weight room, and staff would sanitize the room after every workout before the next group arrived.
Players wouldn’t be allowed to shower in the locker room. They would be required to turn in their used clothing the next day to be washed by staff.
Crazy times, folks.
You may have heard that some construction workers renovating Bryant Denny Stadium tested positive, though work was only halted for a weekend. Big news out of Auburn on that front.
Auburn legend Pat Dye was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week and is in the hospital. pic.twitter.com/p7pv9aRbrh— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) May 21, 2020
At 80 years old, Coach Dye is very much in the high risk group. Best wishes to him.
As expected, the NCAA put the kibosh on the universal one-time transfer waivers for this year.
One-time transfer waivers are dead until at least 2021-22 academic year, sources told @Stadium, as NCAA Division I Council approved a resolution to develop legislation regarding transfer eligibility for January 2021 that would not be effective until 2021-22 academic year— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) May 20, 2020
With all of the uncertainty this offseason, that was chaos that the sport didn’t need.
Miami incumbent starting QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is excited about Tua Tagovailoa, even if playing time is an issue.
“I’m excited that they drafted him,” Fitzpatrick said during an appearance this week on the “What’s Next?” podcast with Eric Wood. “I’m excited because I watched him play at Alabama. He looks like he’s a pretty dynamic talent. Just in meeting him a few times, he seems like an unbelievable kid. Great head on his shoulders. Says the right things. Wants to do the right things.
“So for me, I’m his biggest cheerleader right now. But I also want to be out there playing, I also want to be on the field, and that’s kind of why I’m still doing it is because I still enjoy playing the game. Hopefully, some of the lessons I’m able to teach him are him watching me play, but if it’s the other way around I’m going to do my best to help him succeed in the best way that he can.”
Maybe he can also teach Tua how to get a little of that “Fitzmagic” drip.
Ryan Fitzpatrick showed up to his press conference dressed up like this.— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 16, 2018
I guess he can do whatever he wants after his performances in the first two games. pic.twitter.com/pjGljdMpIR
Calvin Ridley was special last season in Atlanta.
Last season, Ryan had a 113.5 passing-efficiency rating when throwing to Ridley. Ryan’s rating when throwing to other receivers in 2019 was 88.3.
Ridley helped Ryan by catching more passes than he should have, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats. Those numbers indicated Ridley should have caught 59 percent of the passes that came his way, based on the quality of the throws. But Ridley caught 67.7 percent of them for the fifth-biggest difference between expectation and reality in the league in 2019.
Julio will always dominate the targets, but what more than this could you ask of a WR?
247 sports caught up with Jake Coker, who is a new dad.
BOL: What have the first few months of fatherhood been like?
JC: “Oh, man. It’s been awesome. My whole family has fallen in love at first sight with our daughter, and so, everybody’s over at our house a lot and we’re all able to spend a lot of time with her and just have a lot of fun. This is my first child, so I’m still trying to figure it out and trying to find a way to get some more sleep, but we’re enjoying it, man. It’s a lot of fun.”
BOL: What are you up to these days from a work standpoint? And are you still in Mobile?
JC: “Yeah, I’m back in Mobile. My wife and I moved back to Mobile, I guess, about 2017-18. I’m over at BancorpSouth now. I’m on the commercial insurance side and been doing that for about two years. It’s been a great way to get out and meet people and network within Mobile. It’s not like it’s a huge city, but I definitely learned and networked and met a lot of people in this town that I hadn’t met prior. So, it’s been great. It’s been a lot of fun, there’s no doubt about it.”
Selling insurance in his hometown, eh? Color me surprised.
Last, a Korean soccer club was fined for filling the stands with... sex dolls?
South Korea’s FC Seoul have been fined a record 100 million Korean won ($82,000) for “damaging the prestige and integrity of the league” after using sex dolls instead of mannequins to fill empty seats during a K-League match.
The club placed around 20 dolls — some of which were dressed in the team’s colours, while others held placards supporting the side — in the stands on Sunday to make up for the absence of fans due to coronavirus restrictions.
If they aren’t careful over there, things will quickly come to a head.
That’s about it for now. Have a great day.