The certainty of the 2020 college football season is unknown due to the spread of COVID-19, but University of Georgia president Jere Morehead is optimistic that games could be played on time in September with fans.
Morehead spoke with WGAU’s Tim Bryant recently on the “Mission: Tim-Possible” podcast where spoke extensively about his opinions on the matter at hand.
“Our hope at this point, our expectation at this point is that we’ll have a normal football season and be able to play all of our games,” Morehead said. “We’re certainly working toward that goal. I think as time goes by and we see the course of the pandemic, we’ll have a better sense of when, for example, have football players back on campus. That’s a key issue because the football players need to get into conditioning. They need to be involved in practice. We didn’t have spring practice this year so at some point this summer, that will have to happen for us to have a normal football season.”
This might provide a sense of relief to fans because some media outlets and analysts have expressed their concerns about the upcoming season. Some have casted doubt if it will even take place or let alone it start on time. Currently, every university in the country is participating in online learning from a distance with finals coming up.
For the UGA class of 2020, there will be no commencement in May, and for good reason. Instead, those who have earned their degrees through spring semester will have to wait until the bye weekend in the fall to celebrate in Sanford Stadium. Even though that event is planned, the assurance of that happening is still up in the air.
There have been reports of schools in Iowa, Texas, Alabama, and North Carolina that have announced the intention to start back classes in the fall. That’s going to inevitable for football programs to start conditioning again.
Morehead was also asked about the idea of fans being able to attend games this fall, and spoke with a recognizable tone about the financial aspect as well.
“Certainly our hope and expectation is that we’ll have fans in the stands,” said Morehead. “We hope that we’ll have our players here at some point during the month of July. We’ll just have to see how the various developments related to COVID-19 affect that timeline but our commissioner is very focused on this issue. Of course all of the SEC presidents are meeting literally at least once a week to discuss this and many other athletic issues.
“One of the the things I have to emphasize is that even though Greg McGarity has done a great job of being very conservative in finances, which is now proving to have been absolutely critical, even a school like Georgia would be devastated by not having football season because football is the driver financially for all the other athletic programs that we have. It’s also what brings this campus together, brings Bulldog Nation together. So I’m very optimistic, very hopeful that we’ll have a full football season.”