College football has no single leader, no commissioner. Instead, each of the Power Five conferences has its own rules, its own financial stake in what happens on the field and on television.
We know Big Ten and Pac-12 have decided to cancel football for the fall, with the possibilities of some form of play in the spring.
The SEC, home to UF, and the ACC, home to Miami and FSU, say they’re not interested in that.
Everyone at FSU is adamant about play starting next month. FSU’s president, John Thraser, made his point, and he made it definitively. He said the Seminoles are going to play football in the fall.
“We know we can do it safely,” Thraser said. “And what we frankly want to send is a message to some of the other schools that are teetering on playing that we think it’s in the best interests of our student-athletes for us to play football.”
The Big Ten, home to Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan, does not share Thrasher’s opinion. The conference is postponing football. No restart date has been announced.
The Seminoles play in the ACC, where it’s full speed ahead to playing in the fall. David Coburn, the Seminoles athletic director, said the school is doing everything it can to protect its athletes.
“We’ll probably go to biweekly testing during the season,” Coburn said. “Anyone who gets a positive test result, we do heart work.”
“This is the safest environment for us, just being at this facility,” Nole WR Keyshawn Helton said.
Noles teammates cannot stand the idea of not playing.
“To potentially have the season taken away, it would just be heartbreaking,” Noles DE Joshua Kaindoh said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis shares the same sympathies for the possible impacts of a canceled college football season.
“I think taking that away, I think would do lasting damage,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis joined Tuesday’s roundtable meeting at FSU’s campus to show support for fall football.
“This is probably the safest environment these athletes can be in, not just for coronavirus, but for a whole host of other reasons, and I think they’re going to do it the right way,” DeSantis said.
Coach Mike Norvell says it’s also up to the athletes and coaches to decide for themselves.
“They are here voluntarily,” Norvell said. “We presented that to our staff. The choice is theirs.”