WKTV - “At the end of the day, if the decisions to not play are based on what’s best for the players, staff, families and faculty, you have to do it,” said Dan Hunt, Head Football Coach of the Colgate Raiders.
College football got hit head-on this week. Between postponements of the fall seasons, to the NCAA announcing the cancellation of fall sports championships, to just three Power Five football conferences still holding on for dear life.
“I’m sure that those conferences didn’t take those decisions lightly. It will work if it’s part of a comprehensive plan. It can’t just be ‘Well, we’re not going to play football’ and there’s no other adjustments to a college. If we’re going to sacrifice the sports it has to be part of a plan to keep everybody safe at class and in the dorms and things like that,” said Hunt.
Colgate University football players, whose season was postponed a month ago, are making their way back to campus for a two week mandatory quarantine period.
But what happens after that?
With an eighty-three man roster and seventeen seniors, if they want to return, that will affect scholarships.
“Players who lose their season I'm sure will get an extra year of eligibility,” said Hunt. “The problem is going to be for us is finding a way to get them, if they want to play at Colgate, to be able to do that. Right now we're trying to get commitments out of a class of 2021 high school kids, who in the natural world will take the scholarships of our seniors when they're done this year. Well, what if our seniors aren't done this year? How does that affect the scholarships coming in?
If the Patriot League decides on a spring season, what could the schedule look like?
“I think us in the Patriot League would be a league schedule only,” said Hunt. “Then there's going to be the fine line of how early can you start? And then what would your following fall look like just to make sure they get enough physical rest but also mental rest. It’s an intense time and you talk to the players and they want to play, of course they want to play. It’s up to us to try and get that done safely for them physically and mentally.”
“They've been through a lot. We've got to be cognizant of that or else we're not doing our job as coaches and we're not living to what we say as far as player safety.”
What things do you think could have happened to put college football in a better place over the 5 month period to have a fall season?
“I just don't know one thing that could have said 'here's what the NCAA should have done to give us a fall season',” said Hunt.
“Because it’s tough to bubble kids that have to go to class. The NBA could do it because that's their job but I think with college sports, one of the great parts of it is these kids are on campus and they're part of the community and once you do that you can't bubble and if you bubble them you be losing the experience of college sports. It's really a tough situation.”
Coach Hunt is hoping that he is able to begin full practices by October or November.