Bob Bowlsby Confident In Big 12's Ability To Play This Fall
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby explained what the conference "saw and heard from medical experts, including doctors from the Mayo Clinic and Duke University, to reach a different conclusion" than the Big Ten and Pac-12 in deciding to move forward with fall sports, including football, according to Chuck Carlton of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Bowlsby yesterday said, "The biggest argument (for playing) is that nobody has told us that it's poorly advised to go forward and do what we are doing. If we get to the place where our doctors and scientists say, 'You know what, you guys got two wheels off the tracks and you’re headed for a train wreck,' we will pivot that day." Bowlsby indicated that the timing of such a decision "wouldn't matter, whether it was preseason camp or October or the week before the league championship game, currently set for Dec. 12 at AT&T Stadium." Carlton writes rather than "marching forward, the Big 12 -- and the SEC and ACC -- are cautiously feeling their way ahead." The Big 12 "tried to build in precautions, including three weekly COVID-19 tests -- probably Sunday, Wednesday and Friday -- in high-contact sports." Bowlsby also said that he "spoke with at least two players from all 10 Big 12 schools before the decision was made" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/13). Bowlsby: "The Pac-12 and the Big Ten are seeing much of the same information that we’re seeing. But our board believes in our scientists and has come to a conclusion that's different, and so has the leadership of the SEC and the and the ACC" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 8/13).
CONSISTENTLY INCONSISTENT? SI's Pat Forde called Bowlsby a "smart guy, but when he's saying the situation in California is pretty tough from a virus standpoint, how are things in Texas, where half of the Big 12 is? It's been a real picnic there, hasn't it? There's an inconsistency there, one of many inconsistencies throughout the whole nation on this. When a commissioner says that I just have to shake my head." Forde: "Youve got these competing methodologies or philosophies or whatever, and the conferences are very much going to try to find one that fits what they want to do" ("The Paul Finebaum Show," ESPN Radio, 8/12).
UP TO YOU, STUDENTS: In Des Moines, Randy Peterson writes college students returning to campus are a "major factor in success of college football this fall," depending on if they do "the proper stuff." The "Great Unknown hovering over campus" is "what happens when the general student population returns to campus." Conference administrators can "prepare for this, and school officials have ways to mitigate worries, but what happens on those first big Friday and Saturday nights before the start of the 2020 fall semester?" (DES MOINES REGISTER, 8/13).
SHOWDOWN STILL ON: Both Texas AD Chris Del Conte and Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione have said that they "wanted to keep the annual Red River Rivalry game in Dallas." In Austin, Brian Davis notes for now, the game is "still scheduled on Oct. 10, the traditional second weekend of October." Both Del Conte and Castiglione "understand they are operating under [Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott’s mandate of 50% stadium capacity." Both sides "control their own ticketing for their half of the Cotton Bowl" (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 8/13).
THEY'RE DOING FINE: The Oklahoma athletic department yesterday announced that it "projects limiting capacity to 25 percent at Gaylord Family -- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium this season." In Oklahoma City, Ryan Aber reports the department "began reaching out to season ticket holders" yesterday to "gauge interest in attending games this season." OU will host five games this season, starting Sept. 12 (OKLAHOMAN, 8/13).