Former Kansas State University president Jon Wefald appeared on the Paul Finebaum Show today, and gave some comments that certainly aren’t promising about the 2020 college football season. Wefald was president of Kansas State University from 1986-2009, and twice hired Bill Snyder as the Wildcats football coach.
Wefald, who opened by calling Finebaum’s show “the greatest sports talk radio program in the world,” wasn’t afraid to give his opinions on what he thought about the upcoming season. And he certainly wasn’t optimistic.
“If no cure for Covid-19 has not happened by July, Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN is probably correct,” said Wefald, referring to the comments from the College GameDay host saying it’s unlikely there is college football in 2020.
“We’re on a track right now that makes it highly unlikely that we’re going to play football this year. But I certainly hope that Dabo Swinney is right.” Swinney said earlier today that he has “zero doubt” that college football will be played with full stands this season.
“Dr. Anthony Fauci... said a cure or a vaccine that would work for most people is a year and a half off. You know, I’m just thinking about the restrictions we’re under now, and that is the whole spacing business. You have to be six feet from somebody else. And the idea that everyone should really stay at home. And that even when you do go out, you should probably wear a face mask.
“But let’s say that by June those restrictions are still on. Then it makes it highly unlikely that there won’t be a season. I don’t know if you saw this Lead1 survey of 130 major college football schools, 63% of them forecast a worst-case scenario where their revenues decrease by at least 20%. And what they’re assuming is no football season at all, or a partial football season. I think we have to be realistic.
“I’ve talked to a number of coaches, and you know they’re hopeful like Swinney is. But I would say they’re also realistic that it’s going to be tough getting this season going even if we bend the curve by June. People like (Dr. Anthony) Fauci and the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Surgeon General are going to recommend that we keep the spacing requirements and that we stay at home.
“I talked to our AD yesterday (K-State AD Gene Taylor), and of course he in the worst way wants to have a football season because he knows if there is no football season, or if it’s cut short, that it’s going to have unbelievable repercussions for the whole athletic department.”
In his time with Finebaum, he also worried about things like enrollment and the trickle-down of the virus will affect the 5,000 colleges and universities in America.
Without a vaccine, which is likely over a year away, it might be a challenge for NCAA programs to have a 2020 college football season. But there is still hope, and with 148 days until the season kickoff in Dublin, Ireland between Notre Dame and Navy, hopefully there’s a breakthrough that helps change the course of what’s happening now.