Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley is the latest NCAA football official or head coach to say that it might be better to move the 2020 season to the spring of 2021. Riley sat down for an interview with Chandler Engelbrecht of OUDaily where he talked about a wide range of subjects, including whether or not the coach thought it would be feasible to play this fall’s season, next spring.
Talk about moving the season in order to save it has started up again as several states across the country are seeing a resurgence in coronavirus infection rates.
“To me, this becomes, ‘Do you think [playing in the spring] is doable?’ and I personally do,” Riley said. “I do believe you can adjust your schedule. You’d have to adjust your schedule to give players plenty of time off to get their bodies back… But I think the people who say it’s not doable, in my opinion, just don’t want to think about it. I just think it would be unwise to take any potential option off the table right now, and I think it would be very difficult to say that the spring’s not a potential option. I, for one, think it’s very doable.”
Riley’s comments came during a week in which yet another team the Sooners play against announced they were suspending team workouts this month. The University of Kansas announced on its official website that the school tested 164 students and had 16 come back positive. Twelve of those who returned positive results were football players and that led the program to shut things down.
Kansas announced its shut down two weeks after Kansas State’s football program took similar steps.
All three schools compete in the Big 12 conference alongside several schools from the state of Texas, which is seeing record reports of positive infections. Riley is far from the only person associated with NCAA football who thinks a delayed season is the way to go.
Earlier this week, the Pac 12 announced it has been working on contingency plans to move the entire conference’s slate of games to the spring of 2021.
As Blake Schuster of Bleacher Report pointed out, much like the Big 12, several of the states associated with the Pac 12 are seeing COVID-19 rates rocketing upward. Arizona saw nearly 5,000 new cases on June 30 and July 1. The state of California saw more than 4,400 new cases per day in the past week.
Both states had been hoping they had beaten back the pandemic and had started to reopen.