University of Arizona president says fall football increasingly unlikely, more answers needed

BleedGopher

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per ESPN:

University of Arizona president Dr. Robert Robbins said Wednesday that he does not anticipate the Wildcats playing football this fall, even though the university plans to bring students and faculty back to campus for face-to-face instruction during the fall semester.

In an interview with KVOI-AM in Tucson, Arizona, Robbins said he is worried about intercollegiate sports getting back to normal after the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm really concerned about whether we're going to be playing football in the fall," Robbins told the radio station. "My sense, right now, I just don't see that happening."
If the Wildcats do play this fall, Robbins said he anticipates at least a delay to the start of the season. Arizona is scheduled to kick off the 2020 season against Hawaii at home on Aug. 29.

"We're waiting to see what the NCAA does, what the Pac-12 does," Robbins said. "As much as I want it, you know, it just seems as though if we do play any football in the fall, it's going to be delayed because I've heard nothing and we're headed to May 1. My hope is we're going to get some clarity on this very soon, but it seems unlikely to me. I'd love to see it happen, but we're waiting every day to get some guidance."


Go Gophers!!
 

MplsGopher

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This seems like nothing more than a provocation.

As he literally says, "I've heard nothing". I think he's hoping to jar/prod lose some information, and/or force a discussion to be had in the PAC amongst the leadership, via the means of such a shocking announcement.


I don't believe he actually thinks there would be no football, if schools have students physically back on campus in the fall. I think there's zero chance of that. The only question is about loss of ticket sales. But TV revenue alone dictates that it will happen, regardless of closed stadiums.
 

MNVCGUY

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As with most things right now that rely on any form of projection the reality is that nobody has any idea what things are going to look like.

I am holding out hope we see a season of some kind this fall.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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No reason any of these department heads really know what the medical situation is.

I think when testing takes off ... we'll have a better idea of how many people have already been exposed and the severity / risks involved.

It's possible that a large number of people have already been exposed with no symptoms and that might greatly change the math on the risks for large events and etc.
 

MplsGopher

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It's possible that a large number of people have already been exposed with no symptoms and that might greatly change the math on the risks for large events and etc.
As each state/major metro conducts its own version of the studies done by Stanford and USC, I think we're going to find out that around 5-10% of the country's population, on average, has antibodies.

It's still going to be painful as we climb that up to 50-70% or whatever number is needed for herd immunity. What amount of pain we can bear, in trade-off with restarting the economy, is the impossible calculus that our leaders will have to navigate in the coming months.
 

Block M

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As each state/major metro conducts its own version of the studies done by Stanford and USC, I think we're going to find out that around 5-10% of the country's population, on average, has antibodies.

It's still going to be painful as we climb that up to 50-70% or whatever number is needed for herd immunity. What amount of pain we can bear, in trade-off with restarting the economy, is the impossible calculus that our leaders will have to navigate in the coming months.
Its probably going to be much less than that; maybe 1%, come August. If we progress to herd immunity (~100-200 million infections) then its the greatest failure in the history of the United States. Its already the greatest public health failure in our history.
 

MplsGopher

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Its probably going to be much less than that; maybe 1%, come August.
No, that's not correct.

Santa Clara (south Bay Area) and Los Angeles counties have 4% population with antibodies, according to the Stanford and USC studies respectively.

The virus was in the country and circulated, unabated, for some time before we realized. Probably since early February in some places.


NYC, just by confirmed cases, is at 1.7% of its population. Could be maybe 10-20% or higher there. They got hit hard by infected people from Europe (Italy in particular) flying into the city.
 

forever a gopher

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This seems like nothing more than a provocation.

As he literally says, "I've heard nothing". I think he's hoping to jar/prod lose some information, and/or force a discussion to be had in the PAC amongst the leadership, via the means of such a shocking announcement.


I don't believe he actually thinks there would be no football, if schools have students physically back on campus in the fall. I think there's zero chance of that. The only question is about loss of ticket sales. But TV revenue alone dictates that it will happen, regardless of closed stadiums.
Exactly. His statement makes no sense. If the students are back on campus, why couldn't they play football? Assuming the students are back in the fall, the worst case scenario when it comes to football would be playing in front of no fans, or reduced numbers of fans.
 

MplsGopher

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The absolute worst cases for schools athletics, is no football at all. That's basically a death knell for athletics, for the year. They could very well need to suspend the entire athletics operation, for a year, furlough all staff, etc.

They will pull out every last stop they have, to prevent football from being cancelled.


I don't even believe, frankly, that they'll be willing to cancel football just because students aren't physically on campus in the fall. Hopefully it won't come to that anyway.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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If the students are back on campus, why couldn't they play football?
One reason would be that we aren't handling this with a national plan, but rather with a series of local plans. So just because Arizona decides it's safe for students to return to its campus doesn't mean that the other schools they might play will be in the same position. It also doesn't mean that U of A will decide that its safe for its students to travel to other locations to play. Unless all schools, or at least a sizeable number of them, get to a point where they are open for students and they are comfortable sending off traveling parties across the country to play football, there won't be games.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Worth noting - in the link to the cbs sports article, they cited a poll of over 100 AD's. 75% of the people responding to the poll said they thought there would be a season, BUT it would not start on time.

As 2nd degree said, every state is a different situation. I could see schedules being adjusted and locations being moved based on which states have the lowest rates of infection, etc.

My takeaway is that there will be a season, but it will not be "normal." possible late start, schedule changes, no fans or limited fans in stands, etc.
 

MplsGopher

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One reason would be that we aren't handling this with a national plan, but rather with a series of local plans. So just because Arizona decides it's safe for students to return to its campus doesn't mean that the other schools they might play will be in the same position. It also doesn't mean that U of A will decide that its safe for its students to travel to other locations to play. Unless all schools, or at least a sizeable number of them, get to a point where they are open for students and they are comfortable sending off traveling parties across the country to play football, there won't be games.
These decisions will be made at a conference level. That's the level that TV contracts are negotiated.
 

tmvander

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i'm beginning to be more confident there will be football in the fall. I'm in the company that it will be different than normal though.
 

Some guy

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This seems like nothing more than a provocation.

As he literally says, "I've heard nothing". I think he's hoping to jar/prod lose some information, and/or force a discussion to be had in the PAC amongst the leadership, via the means of such a shocking announcement.


I don't believe he actually thinks there would be no football, if schools have students physically back on campus in the fall. I think there's zero chance of that. The only question is about loss of ticket sales. But TV revenue alone dictates that it will happen, regardless of closed stadiums.
I agree 100%
There is a large group of people who are uncomfortable with uncertainty.

It is certainly possible there is no football. It is also certainly possible there will be football without fans, with limited fans. It is also possible with technological changes to testing and tracing that there is football with fans. Too soon to tell. If that bothers you go ahead and speculate
 

MplsGopher

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I would say, the possibility of no football will be fairly closely tied to the possibility of students not being physically back on campuses this fall.

That latter scenario is keeping college admin up at night right now.


Imagine schools like in the MIAC. Who wants to pay $50k a year ... to sit at home and take classes online? The point of a school like that, is almost entirely in the life experience, of being there, meeting other people there, the social experience.

You can just as well get those online classes at a MNSCU school for a fraction of the cost, or the U, or some other online university.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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These decisions will be made at a conference level. That's the level that TV contracts are negotiated.
Well, I certainly think at some point the conferences will decide whether they are going to have a conference season or not, but the NCAA is going to have to decide on whether there will be fall football, spring football or no football. I can't imagine a scenario where the SEC plays in the fall and the Big Ten in the spring. And of course the conferences have no say over whether their member schools open or play sports in a pandemic. I could see a possible (but unklikely) scenario where the NCAA and the Big Ten announce that there will be spring football, but one or more member institutions don't play because the law in their states or the administration of their university won't allow it.
 

MplsGopher

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The NCAA has almost nothing to do with major college football.

It doesn't own or operate the CFP. That is owned entirely by the FBS conferences and Notre Dame.


If the Big Ten wants to do something about football, it will be doing that, in cooperation with its television partners. And won't nobody be able to tell them otherwise.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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If the Big Ten wants to do something about football, it will be doing that, in cooperation with its television partners. And won't nobody be able to tell them otherwise.
You are hilarious. The member institutions of the Big Ten have a great deal of autonomy, but they do not and would not make such decisions without the input and support, or at least tolerance, of the local and state governments on which they depend.
 

MplsGopher

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they do not and would not make such decisions without the input and support, or at least tolerance, of the local and state governments on which they depend.
You said NCAA before, and that was the context of my comment. Not literally nobody.
 

Cruze

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It's going to be politicians and not the NCAA, football conferences, or university presidents who will have the final decision whether or not there will be college football in the the fall, and how and when it's going to be played.


Governors to fans: Stay at home if you want football in 2020

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, as highlighted by Yahoo Sports, are among those to recently communicate that the public's willingness to stay at home could ultimately make the difference over whether or not college football is played this fall.

“If you’re eager for a fall football season coming up, what we’re doing today gives us a better chance of being able to do that as well,” Ivey said, per Alabama Political Reporter.

“If you want to see football this fall, you better be staying home now,” said Ricketts, according to News Channel Nebraska.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom does not believe stadiums in his state will be open to fans by August and September.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued similar remarks, stating that he "can't imagine" that public-health professionals will permit fans to gather in sports venues by that point in time.

https://247sports.com/LongFormArtic...-didnt-develop-into-NFL-Draft-stars-146333663




California Governor Gavin Newsom Does Not Expect Fans to Be at 2020 Football Games

"I am not anticipating that happing in this state," Newsom said regarding having fans in stadium this fall, according to tweet by Lindsay Thiry, who covers the Rams for ESPN. "Let me tell you why. We've all seen the headlines the last couple days in Asia where they were opening up certain businesses, and now they're starting to roll back on those openings because they're starting to see some spread, there's a boomerang."

 
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2nd Degree Gopher

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You said NCAA before, and that was the context of my comment. Not literally nobody.
Yeah, I don't have time today to get into another one of these pissing contests with you where you post your nonsense and then say that you didn't mean what you wrote. My bad. I should know by now that when you say something like "won't nobody be able to tell them otherwise" what you really mean is that "they will, of course, have to take into account the concerns of multiple interested parties including, but not limited to, the member institutions, the various organizations to which those members belong, the government, the scientific community and the medical professionals."
 

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I would think it would be weird not having fans in the stands. Fleck will probably do something to increase the environment around the players though. Haven't a clue what. Not worried about that as he and his staff seems to be pretty creative.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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I would think it would be weird not having fans in the stands. Fleck will probably do something to increase the environment around the players though. Haven't a clue what. Not worried about that as he and his staff seems to be pretty creative.
1 family of fans per section.

I call 140!
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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Was quite obviously referring to the NCAA, as that's what you just said.
I don't know what you meant, I just know what you wrote. So your objection was that I suggested that NCAA (and others) would be involved in the decision-making process rather than the CFP? And that when you said the conferences would decide, you meant that they would decide collectively and with the input of a variety of other interested parties (but not the NCAA)? And to convey all of that you used the short-hand term "nobody" as a substiute for what you really meant (i.e., all sorts of other people)? And that's true even though your example was that the Big Ten would decide its own path?
 

MplsGopher

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I don't know what you meant, I just know what you wrote. So your objection was that I suggested that NCAA (and others) would be involved in the decision-making process rather than the CFP? And that when you said the conferences would decide, you meant that they would decide collectively and with the input of a variety of other interested parties (but not the NCAA)? And to convey all of that you used the short-hand term "nobody" as a substiute for what you really meant (i.e., all sorts of other people)? And that's true even though your example was that the Big Ten would decide its own path?
In #18 you said "but the NCAA is going to have to decide on whether there will be fall football, spring football or no football" which is patently false.

If the Big Ten wants to play football games, and have them on TV, it will do so if it pleases, regardless what the NCAA thinks about that. In fact, the entire Big Ten can drop out of the NCAA, at any time they wish. There is no contract or even general understanding that binds them together. The Big Ten negotiates its TV contracts on its own, and the CFP negotiates its TV contracts on behalf of the 10 FBS conferences (and ND) and six major bowls. Those conferences (and ND) could all drop out of the NCAA, if they wanted to.

The NCAA owns March Madness. That is the main valuable property that it has ownership over. And certainly no control of football, the CFP, or the other bowls.
 

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What will be nice if they will allow access to all games on different TV channels to allow a wider audience participation.

I am sure in this time of national emergency they can grant some sort of revenue sharing from advertisements on regular TV, etc...
 

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One reason would be that we aren't handling this with a national plan, but rather with a series of local plans. So just because Arizona decides it's safe for students to return to its campus doesn't mean that the other schools they might play will be in the same position. It also doesn't mean that U of A will decide that its safe for its students to travel to other locations to play. Unless all schools, or at least a sizeable number of them, get to a point where they are open for students and they are comfortable sending off traveling parties across the country to play football, there won't be games.T
This is going to be decided at the conference or NCAA level, not by any state or university. If, for example, Minnesota should decide not to play when the Big Ten had decided to play the U would be out a fortune. It is just not going to happen. In three, four or five weeks time the Big Ten will decide they are going to play unless people are dying by the tens of thousands per day. They just can not afford to do otherwise. The stands may be empty, but the guys will be playing.
 
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