A week ago the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences announced that they will postpone its college football seasons to the spring. The earliest these teams will start playing games again is Jan. 1, 2021. The Pac-12 conference is encouraging the NCAA to grant players that do not want to play for any reason this season an extra year of eligibility onto their college careers. On a more positive note, most of the players and coaches throughout the conference expect and have hopes of continuing this season in the coming months.
Arizona football head coach, Kevin Sumlin, held a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 18. Here are some highlights from the press conference.
Normally you are getting ready for a season at this point, where are you at and where is the team at right now in the process of moving on to 2021?
“We’re in the process of going through team development. How we’ve approached strength and conditioning with our new comers who have just got involved in the last week. You know we’re moving on and I think, everybody’s got to be flexible and that’s been our communication with players and parents with our own coaching staff because it's the new normal.”
What was it like having to tell the kids that they can’t play this fall?
"It affected me but I knew a little bit before the announcement happened. So, I told our guys I dont know whats gonna happen, i think the communication piece with our players and their families and you realize we have been as transparent as possible and our players have understood that. We have been working on the plan for now what, what's that going to look like, is there going to be a spring season. We have talked about continuing to train not for a certain opponent but for the next opportunity."
How much of an advantage do you think a program is going to have over another in the spring possibly one with more talent?
"I think it's going to be how you handle it week to week because four months ago we went through a period where it looked bad but all the sudden, it looked great. I think the management piece across the board right now with the extra time with player development for new players."
There’s a lot of different scenarios for spring football, David Shaw said yesterday he’d like to see it as soon as January. What would spring football ideally look like to you?
"It’s different for me, just because as I said our preparation is going to get us better through this process. I think that it’s hard to make that plan right now based on what we’ve seen over the last couple months. The majority of the kids do want to play, if they know it’s a safe environment as it can be."
What are your thoughts on the WeAreUnited Movement? How are you counseling your players that want to be involved with that?
"I haven’t heard much in the last week. I think it's very clear from their standpoint that they are extremely happy with how they’ve been treated here with the safety measures that we have put in place. My job first and foremost, is to provide the safest environment for you that’s possible."
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