| NEWS CECIL HURT: Sooner or later we have to consider the unthinkable - TideSports.com

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When unthinkable things happen there is a predictable, if uncomfortable, side effect.

You start thinking about other unthinkable things, even bigger ones, because if that original unthinkable thing happens, who knows where the boundary lies?

You could hear hints of that in SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey’s Tuesday teleconference (until further notice, all “press conferences” are going to be teleconferences). No one was panicking, there was no hysteria, but there was more than one question that began with a sort of probing, or a hope that the commissioner might use his superpowers to draw a line that says “this stops here…” The questions started the same way, more or less.

“Greg, what about football?...”

That’s the overriding question on many minds right now. That’s not to make a value judgment that football is better, but it certainly is bigger. To set aside Alabama for a moment, let’s note at some schools, the pinnacle events of the college athletic season are different. In Minnesota, or Massachusetts, it may be the Frozen Fours in men’s and women’s hockey. In Iowa and Pennsylvania, it might be the men’s wrestling championships. There are Alabama fans, of course, who love basketball or baseball, softball or gymnastics.

Football, though, is the engine that makes the entire train move, whether you are speaking strictly about economics or whether, in this state, in this part of the world, provides a powerful culture thread that touches virtually everyone, nearly as much as the weather. So those questions, even ones seeking fairly specific logistical answers about spring practice or SEC Media Days or the other predatory rituals, were also seeking a little reassurance. Nothing is normal in the coronavirus era, but if there is going to be football, that indicates there will be a return to normalcy.

The first pending issue is spring football. There are a variety of options, although operating on a normal schedule isn’t one of them. There might be some way to play in September without the benefit of a spring practice, but that would raise serious concerns ranging from quality of play to safety and conditioning.

Sankey’s teleconference was a follow-up to Wednesday’s announcement that the plug had been permanently pulled on every other 2020 spring sports activity.

“That does not apply to spring practices at this time, and I think that (at this time) is the important qualifying phrase,“ Sankey said. “We have said (there will be) no athletic activities through April 15. That doesn’t mean we’ll be back to normal or to practice activities April 16, it was just a date that allows our administrators to communicate with our coaches, our coaches with their student athletes.

“If you look at the national public messaging about no gatherings above 50, (it is) certainly difficult to conduct any football practice under that limitation… thereby making it impossible into May, as has been stated. So, I’m not going to be overly optimistic about the return to practice. We haven’t fully foreclosed that opportunity, but I think practically that window’s pretty narrow.”

Without a spring, could there be football?

“I’m a half-full perspective person, so I have optimism,” Sankey said.

What that means to a half-empty perspective person, no one wants to consider — but it’s at least a potential monster around the bend, even if it disappears as hoped in the next couple of months.
 

Tidestalker

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Not in the least bit concerned about the football season... Plenty of time. Bummer about Spring football, but everyone has the same challenges. RTR
 

alabama mike

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I realize CH is talking about college football but spring practice is not common in many states. Conditioning, quality of play and safety will be fine IF players are allowed to practice in large groups in the summer IMO. Hopefully, the NCAA will allow position coaches to work with their specific players a few weeks earlier if things remain down for an extended period of time. Ideal? No, but some plan will have to be put in place since all of us are in uncharted waters.
 

50+yeartidefan

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So much happening......so much in a month....
i hope we all find something positive...... seeing a lot of good from people...
....if everyone can just do a little more....for each other....
 

jdpas29

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maybe switching to a paper football league would be fun for one year? or playing flag football while in hazmat suits?
 

planomateo

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I'm a realist, perhaps a pessimist on this.

Just don't see this happening in 2020, maybe delayed/shortened season or empty stadiums?

Hope I'm wrong.
 

MunchyOs

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If football season goes, then it stands to reason that next basketball season won’t happen either. And if that’s the case, when will spectator sports be able to return? MLB 2021, maybe?
 

50+yeartidefan

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Please, Log in or Register to view quote(s).
Hard to even consider....how this could impact us in this country.....
Can be negative....and think the worse...and start the blame game....as so many have already done.....
Or...
Positive,....and think the best..... and realize....most every one is...going full blast on fixing the problem and try to get US back....
I sure miss my sports....though
 

rocknthefreeworld

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Been a long time since Bama did not play at all (1943), but there are people alive who might remember it. Doubtful anyone remembers the time before that (1918).
 

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