2020 Colorado Buffaloes Football Season Preview

It has been a long 2020 for fans of the Colorado Buffaloes. On November 30, 2019, Mel Tucker coached what would be his last game for the Buffs. 343 days later, Karl Dorrell will take the reins for the Buffaloes as head coach against the UCLA Bruins.

The Buffaloes may not be major competitors in the Pac-12 this season. Thus, there is not major pressure for Dorrell to produce results in his first year at the helm. However, the Buffaloes should be able to compete in a lot of their games this season. Fans want to see a competitive product. The past few seasons, the Buffaloes have not been consistently competitive nearly enough. That is what has led to three consecutive 5-7 seasons.

2020 Colorado Buffaloes Offense Has Talent, But Will Be Led By Former Safety

Colorado will start redshirt senior Sam Noyer at quarterback against UCLA. He won a tight contest against redshirt junior Tyler Lytle. Many will count the Buffs out when they realize Noyer played safety last season. Nonetheless, he beat out Lytle in what Dorrell called a very close competition. Dorrell also stated that the team wants to give Tyler Lytle playing time in some capacity throughout the season. It will be interesting to see if freshman Brendon Lewis will get any playing time at quarterback. He is the best dual-threat option the Buffaloes have. Having Lewis play in some capacity this season would add another aspect to a Buffaloes offense that has its share of weapons.

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Darrin Chiaverini is returning to offensive coordinator after being the wide receivers coach last season. He was the offensive coordinator for the Buffs from 2016-18. He has plenty of weapons at his disposal.

The running back group was led by Alex Fontenot, but he may miss a large portion of the season with an undisclosed injury. That means that sophomores Jarek Broussard and Jaren Mangham will share the load at running back. Broussard is listed first on the depth chart, but Mangham caught the eyes of Buffs fans last season. It will be interesting to see if Broussard has the majority of the carries or if there may be a timeshare-type system at running back.

At wide receiver, the Buffaloes have plenty of talent. K.D. Nixon decided to return for his senior season, which is a huge plus for Sam Noyer. He also will have Dimitri Stanley, Daniel Arias, and true freshman Brendan Rice to throw the football to. If Noyer can maintain consistent accuracy, he has the talent around him to be successful.

Defense For Buffaloes Must Build On Consistency

On defense, the Buffaloes will look similar. They have Mustafa Johnson anchoring the defensive line. Nate Landman will be the main part of the linebacking corps in Tyson Summer’s 3-4 scheme.

In the secondary, the Buffaloes return Mekhi Blackmon, Derrion Rakestraw, and Chris Miller. The defense improved in home games near the end of last season, but that success did not translate on the road. It will be good that a similar group of players will be playing in the same defensive scheme they did last season. They must translate their success wherever they play to be competitive in the Pac-12 this season.

Colorado Buffaloes VS UCLA Bruins Prediction

The Buffaloes have seven scheduled games this season, but only six opponents have been determined. The Buffaloes will most likely finish 2-4 before they play their final game of the season. They are underdogs against UCLA this week, but there should be optimism that they might be able to pull off a victory in the first week of Pac-12 play. For Karl Dorrell, this game comes against the team that he was a head coach for from 2003-2007. However, the Bruins beat the Buffs 31-14 last year at Rose Bowl Stadium. The Buffaloes will be the underdogs, but the nation and Buffs fans alike should not be surprised if Colorado gets off to a winning start in 2020.

Prediction: CU 31, UCLA 28

Cancellation of College Sports: Conference Executives’ Hasty Decision

Justin Fields Ohio State

Last week, the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences decided to postpone their next football season until the spring of 2021. This decision was made in concert with conference executives, medical advisors, and the universities themselves.

Regardless of one’s opinion on these decisions, it has become abundantly clear there needs to be an overhaul of how conferences and the NCAA as an entity make decisions when it comes to the welfare of their players.

Should there be more centralized leadership in the NCAA? Sure. However, players’ demands will probably not be granted by a corporation who upholds the archaic ideal of amateurism.

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Schools Will Be at Loss with Cancellation of College Sports

Patrick Rishe, the Sports Business Director at Washington University in St. Louis spoke on CNBC’s Power Lunch show on August 11. He stated that the cancellation of football would result in a four billion-dollar loss, which would amount to about 62 million dollars for each Power 5 school. The Big Ten and Pac-12 have already made the decision to take this loss.

Colorado athletic director Rick George said despite the losses the school will endure because of the cancellation of fall sports and was adamant that CU is “not cutting sports.” He said that the budget for a potential 2020 season was already being allocated to account for little fans and a 10-game, conference-only, schedule. He said it will become necessary for furloughs and layoffs of employees, however.

On the bright side, George said that all CU sports could and would be able to take place in the Spring of 2021 if conditions allow. He also said that athletes should still be around their teams despite not playing in the fall, citing the need for coaches to connect and work with student-athletes.

League Executives Had Tough Decision, But Did Not Consider All Outside Factors With Cancellation of College Sports

As far as league executives go, making decisions to cancel seasons are hard. However, it seemed like players and coaches were not heard from by the executives making these decisions. Medical experts should be the number one source that executives listen to, but the medical experts were also the people telling players they had to follow protocol. The fact of the matter is that many teams followed the model they created to minimize spread of the virus.

Coaches from the Big Ten Conference expressed their dismay with the process. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh wrote a letter to the conference stating that the season could be played not because they wanted to, but because of the facts in how teams have minimized the spread of the virus. Of course, there are going to be cases that pop up throughout the season. That arguably makes a fall college sports season too risky in the eyes of some. However, when players and coaches are given strict protocols and they try to adhere for guidelines, there is going to be pushback from players when conference executives make final decisions without inquiring with the people taking part in the season.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has started a petition to advocate for the reinstatement of the conference-only Big Ten season this fall. Fields is looked at as one of the top prospects for the 2021 draft and may not be able to suit up for the Buckeyes if a Spring 2021 football season takes place. The players want to play and have been using social media as an avenue to express this desire.

This Whole Episode Shows NCAA May Not Be Able to Uphold Ideal of Amateurism

The NCAA prides itself on helping student-athletes achieve their goals on the field and in the classroom. However, the NCAA is a multi-billion-dollar industry. The players are the ones who contribute the most to the NCAA being able to make all this money. Some could argue that the point of going to college is to get an education or develop skills to help with a profession, but athletes are still being exploited.

The decisions made by the Pac-12 and Big Ten were made in part because the players wanted medical benefits and what could be considered salary this season, in the case of the Pac-12. As an institution, the NCAA should be scared about the power that players have had. They want these leagues to take care of players better and show a commitment to causes that the players champion, such as the #WeAreUnited initiative. NCAA executives cannot stand idly by and must acknowledge that the ideal of amateurism has become archaic in a sense.

Players will get more avenues by which they can make money off their name, image, and likeness. No one league has picked up enough steam yet, but the XFL was even experimenting with letting players play before they were drafted into the NFL. In the future, it is inevitable that more opportunities like this will arise, and football players between the ages of 18-22 will be able to provide for themselves through playing the game of football. It will be up to the NCAA if they want to stand by and defend an archaic ideal, or if they will adjust to the times and be able to keep a monopoly on watching 18-22-year-old players play football.

Could Ohio State’s Buckeye Acknowledgement and Pledge be Construed as a Liability Waiver?

Justin Fields Ohio State

Coronavirus brought college basketball to a screeching halt earlier this year. There was no March Madness Tournament, no Final Four. Spring sports did not even get to suit up. Since then, college sports lovers have wondered what college sports will look like in the 2020-2021 season. The college football season is growing closer. States are moving through the phases of re-opening. Fans are beginning to see what issues are at stake for college sports this upcoming season. This issue at stake is how to ensure the safe return of college athletes and students generally during the Coronavirus pandemic. Schools are trying to sort this out while being sure to minimize the school’s liability. Earlier this week, fans learned just how Ohio State University (OSU) intends to accomplish that goal.

What is OSU’s Buckeye Acknowledgement and Pledge?

Last week, Ohio State University began allowing football players to return to campus for voluntary workouts. However, prior to returning the players signed the Buckeye Acknowledgement and Pledge. What is the Buckeye Acknowledgement and Pledge (the Pledge)? OSU created the Pledge for college athletes to sign prior to returning to campus and engaging in sports. The Pledge requires OSU’s athletes to do their part in “help[ing] stop the spread of COVID-19.” It also required the players to acknowledge the possibility of contracting COVID-19 and other infections.

By signing the form, Buckeye athletes agree to a number of COVID-19 safety measures. Specifically, the players agree to get tested for COVID-19. Additionally, the players agree to self-quarantine if they test positive or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. They further agree to wear masks in public, practice physical distancing, and frequently wash their hands.

The Pledge is not optional. All OSU athletes must sign it in order to participate in OSU’s athletics. For players who are 17 years old, their parents must sign it. However, players will not lose their scholarship if they fail to sign and comply with the pledge. The athletes do not have legal representation.

The Pledge Reads Like a Waiver but OSU Claims it is not intended to be a Legal Document

The pledge certainly reads like a waiver even though OSU does not expressly call it one. In fact, OSU’s athletic director Gene Smith stated that the pledge is intended more for educational purposes than for liability purposes. Specifically, Smith stated We don’t look at [the pledge] as a legal document. It is a Buckeye Pledge.” Smith elaborated that the pledge is there to give an administrator who may see an athlete not wearing a mask the ability to remind that athlete of their commitment to helping stop the spread of COVID-19.

Even though the Pledge may not be viewed by OSU as a legal document, it could possibly be used to shield OSU from liability. Throughout the entire document, the players acknowledge the risk of participation and agree to participate anyway. If an athlete becomes infected with COVID-19, the athlete could claim that OSU was negligent. The athlete could claim that OSU failed to keep the campus and athletic facilities safe, and healthy, and did not do all it could to stop the spread of COVID-19.

What Role Would the Pledge Play if an Athlete Contracted COVID-19 and Claimed OSU was Negligent?

If an athlete becomes infected with COVID-19, the athlete could claim that OSU was negligent. Specifically, the athlete could argue OSU was negligent in keeping the campus and athletic facilities safe and in stopping the spread of COVID-19. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty. The plaintiff must prove the duty was breached and that the breach was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury. To prove that OSU was negligent, the athlete would have to demonstrate that OSU owed him a duty to maintain a safe and healthy campus environment. The athlete would also have to prove that OSU breached that duty and that the breach was the cause of his injury – contracting COVID-19.

Does OSU Owe a Duty?

OSU arguably has a duty to keep its student body safe by maintaining a safe and healthy campus environment. However, the Pledge could be used to refute a negligence claim. The language of the pledge could be interpreted as relinquishing OSU of the duty to ensure that its students are safe and healthy by placing that burden on the student body. For example, the pledge states:

As a member of Buckeye Nation, I know that I must take steps to stay well in order to protect others and promote a safe return to campus for all Buckeyes. Because of this, I pledge to take responsibility for my own health and help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

This statement arguably attempts to take the burden of safety away from OSU and puts it on those who sign the Pledge. Upon signing, the students agreed to take responsibility for their own health. They agree to promote a safe return to campus for all Buckeyes. Accordingly, the students arguably take the responsibility of ensuring that OSU’s student-body stays healthy away from OSU. Thus, the Pledge could be used to argue (albeit a weak argument) that OSU did not owe a duty to the student body to maintain a safe and healthy environment. OSU could argue that those who signed the Pledge agreed to take responsibility for their own health. Therefore, this language arguably attempts to take the duty of maintaining safety away from OSU. Thereby shielding OSU from liability.

The Pledge Could be Used to Argue that the Athletes Assumed the Risk of Contracting COVID-19

If OSU is found to owe a duty to maintain a safe and healthy environment, the Pledge still could shield OSU from liability. The pledge could help OSU prove that the athlete assumed the risk of contracting COVID-19. Assumption of risk is a defense to negligence claims. A plaintiff may not recover damages in a negligence claim if they agreed to a known risk. Upon signing the pledge, it is arguable that those who signed the Pledge assumed the risk of contracting COVID-19 while at OSU. For example, the document reads:

I know that by engaging in campus activities, including attending classes, pursuing my education, living on campus, eating in the dining halls, attending activities, participating in sports and recreation, I may be exposed to COVID-19 and other infections.

The document also reads:

I understand COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and it is possible to develop and contract the COVID-19 disease, even if I follow all of the safety precautions above and those recommended by the CDC, local health department, and others.”

The language in both statements provides a strong assumption of risk argument. Using this language, OSU can claim that those who signed the pledge knew of all the risks. They can claim that those who signed assumed the know risks and agreed to participate anyway. OSU may not be calling it a waiver. OSU may be claiming that the Pledge it intended more for education than legal purposes. However, Ohio State University could refer to the Pledge in asserting their defense if they are sued by a student who contracted COVID-19.

How are Other Schools Handling the Return Amid COVID-19?

Ohio State University is not the only school to require athletes to sign a document upon return. Indiana, Tennesse, Iowa, and SMU have all required their athletes to sign a similar document. It is a good chance other schools will follow suit. However, Michigan State announced that the institution will not require its athletes to sign a waiver. It will be interesting to see the position the NCAA takes on this issue.

Pac-12 Decides To Slash Non-Conference Games In 2020

Pac-12 Coaches Chip Kelly David Shaw Clay Helton

This past week, the Pac-12 decided against non-conference games for the 2020 College Football season, following the Big Ten’s lead. It seemed like there would have to be some sort of decision about the season being conference-only soon, and that decision got made in a timely manner.

Does Keeping Pac-12 Games In-Conference Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19?

It was interesting to see conferences make this decision when some of the out-of-conference opponents were closer in location for some teams during the 2020 season. For example, Colorado’s game against Colorado State will not be taking place because of the Pac-12’s decision. While a 64-mile distance between stadiums means that the teams cannot play, CU will still have to play against Washington in Seattle. However, it is understandable why the conference would not want to risk its players playing against others outside of their jurisdiction.

With student athletes and college students in general being on campus this fall, the likelihood of players within the conference getting the virus is very high. It will be interesting to hear if schools set specific rules for student athletes. Can a school take away from a student athlete’s college experience? There are so many unknowns with the process still. The best thing that players and fans can do is be patient with the process. This upcoming college football season is going to be imperfect, but players and fans both want to see it happen.

Pac-12 Schools Have Started Campaigns Because #TheyWantASeason In 2020

College football teams have started to encourage fans on social media to wear masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. There have been many hashtags used, which include #wearamask, #facemasksforfallsports, and #IWantASeason. These hashtags could help some fans be convinced that wearing a mask is the way to go. It seems that the players want to play, and the coaches want to coach.

The fans also want to be in the stands. Unfortunately, this seems like fantasy at this point. The stadiums will most likely be empty or filled at a limited capacity. Other countries, such as England and Germany, have proceeded with soccer matches is empty stadiums despite lower numbers of COVID-19 cases in their countries. It will be interesting to see what individual leagues decide in the United States. There are places that are not considered hotspots, while there are some areas of the country where it may seem like a stretch to condone any sort of congregation of people at a sporting event.

Lack of National Exposure Against Other Conferences In 2020 Will Hurt Pac-12

If the season goes on in a somewhat normal fashion, the preconceived notions of each conference will most assuredly be present in the College Football Playoff meeting rooms. The Pac-12 Conference does not cut it against the other Power 5 conferences as far as football is concerned. Their conference’s network is only available to stream through the fuboTV and Sling platforms. They will probably have to play a good chunk of their games “after dark”, when a lot of people on the East Coast have gone to bed already.

The Pac-12, at the minimum, will need one of their top teams to go undefeated in 2020 to even be considered for the College Football Playoff. With how the past few seasons have played out in conference play, this will probably not happen. Oregon, who many consider to be the frontrunners in the conference, has the benefit of playing USC and Arizona State at home in the current schedule.

There is not a true second threat beyond Oregon in the Pac-12 as of right now. Utah got smoked by them in the Pac-12 championship. Although Arizona State beat Oregon, they have not shown the consistency to be taken seriously as a CFP contender. Jayden Daniels is one of the bright young stars in the conference, however. A game-changing quarterback helps a team’s chances for success out so much, especially in the college game. USC also has a talented quarterback in Kedon Slovis, but their own fans do not have faith in their head coach.

Pac-12 Fans Should Be Excited About the Prospect of a 2020 College Football Season

Having a college football season would be a welcome distraction for fans from hearing about the virus. Also, it may also be a necessary escape during election season. Fans can play their part in ensuring that there will be college football this season by being vigilant and evaluating risks when they decide to venture outside. If the college football community can rally around their want for a college football season by wearing a mask, it will undoubtedly benefit society.

Alston v. NCAA: Athlete Scholarships Fight may go to Supreme Court

Alston v NCAA

Those who wonder why there is such a strong push for college athletes’ rights must look no further than the latest development in the Alston v. NCAA (Alston) case. In Alston, former and current college athletes challenged the NCAA’s amateurism rules on antitrust law grounds. Specifically, the plaintiffs challenged the NCAA’s rules capping grants-in-aid to cost of attendance. The plaintiffs argued that there were less restrictive ways that the NCAA could preserve amateurism. The District Court agreed. The District Court judge ruled that the NCAA could no longer restrict education-related benefits to college athletes. Then the court issued an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from doing so. Education-related benefits include items such as computers or musical instruments. However, the NCAA retained the ability to restrict non-education related benefits. Non-education related benefits include cash payments that may amount to pay-for-play.

Although the NCAA retained the right to prohibit pay-for-play in college sports, the NCAA appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. There, the three-judge panel affirmed the District Court’s decision. The appeals court was scheduled to issue the mandate precluding the NCAA from restricting education-related benefits to college athletes on July 8, 2020. However, on July 6, 2020, the NCAA sought to have the appeals court stay the injunction. The NCAA wants to stay the injunction so they can petition the case to the United States Supreme Court. That is right! The NCAA does not want to allow college athletes to receive extra educational benefits for their athletic prowess. For those who may not understand why there is such a big push for college athletes’ rights, the NCAA actions in the case are precisely why.

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This Case Proves yet Again that the NCAA Cares More About Protecting College Athletics Revenue than Protecting College Athletes

The NCAA does not want to allow its “student-athletes” to receive unlimited educational benefits. They would rather spend time and resources petitioning this case to the Supreme Court. It is amazing how the NCAA can put so much energy into this but leave the schools to fend for themselves in regards to COVID-19 and college athletics. Since the NCAA allowed voluntary workouts to resume on June 1, 2020, athletes at several schools have tested positive for the virus.

With no leadership from the NCAA, Schools are essentially creating a patchwork of guidelines and rules to address COVID-19 and resuming college athletes. However, the NCAA advocates tooth and nail that a patchwork of various state laws addressing college athletes’ names, images, and likenesses will not work and will lead to confusion. COVID-19 has already claimed the lives of over 130,000 Americans. Somehow the NCAA thinks schools should be left to their own devices and handle COVID-19 on their own.

The NCAA’s lack of a unified response has led schools to create documents that amount to a liability waiver for COVID-19. Athletes are required to sign them if they want to resume their sport. Some schools like Ohio State University claim that the document is not intended as a legal document. However, there is plenty of language in the documents that could have legal significance later on. COVID-19 could have a direct effect on college athletes’ health and wellness. The NCAA is again seeing its way out of issues related to athlete health and well-being. However, the NCAA is remaining steadfast in its quest to ensure that college athletes do not receive anything more than the NCAA wishes to give them. That is precisely what the NCAA is doing in its quest to petition Alston to the Supreme Court.

What Exactly is the NCAA Hoping to Achieve by Staying the Injunction to Petition Alston to the United States Supreme Court?

It appears that the NCAA wishes to have the Supreme Court rule that the NCAA’s amateurism rules should not be subject to scrutiny under antitrust law. This should come as no surprise. The NCAA has made it clear that they do not want to be subject to antitrust law anymore.

The NCAA’s Attempt to Persuade Congress to grant it an Antitrust Exemption

In April, the NCAA asked Congress for an antitrust exemption. They made this request when they released their name, image, and likeness report. In the report, the NCAA addressed the numerous antitrust lawsuits that the NCAA has faced over the years. The NCAA essentially plead to Congress that the lawsuits impede the organization’s ability to address the pressing issues facing college athletics. Accordingly, the NCAA wants Congress to grant it an antitrust exemption. If that does not work out, the NCAA appears to be seeking a similar result from the United States Supreme Court.

The NCAA is Planning to Persuade the Supreme Court that any Challenge to Amateurism Rules Based on Antitrust Law Must Fail

Generally, there are three circumstances in which the Supreme Court will review a case. One is where a lower court decision conflicts with a Supreme Court decision. Another is where there are two more conflicting decisions amongst the Circuit Courts of Appeals or a state court of last resort. The third is where the issue involves important questions of federal law. The NCAA asserts that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with the rulings of the Supreme Court. The NCAA also asserts that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with three other Circuit Courts of Appeals. Specifically, the NCAA argues that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with the Supreme Court decision in NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma.

Brief Summary of NCAA v. Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma

In that case, the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents sued the NCAA over television broadcasting rights. The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents argued that the NCAA’s rules regarding the broadcast of college football games violated federal antitrust law. The Supreme Court found that the NCAA’s television broadcasting rules did in fact violate federal antitrust law. While the NCAA lost, the Court acknowledged that the “NCAA plays a critical role in the maintenance of a revered tradition of amateurism in college sports“. The Court further stated that the NCAA “needs ample latitude to play that role“. It is exactly this language that the NCAA plans to amplify when they petition Alston to the Supreme Court.

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The Bulk of the NCAA’s Motion Centers on The Aforementioned Points

In their motion, the NCAA asserts that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with the Supreme Court’s aforementioned assertions in the Board of Regents case. The NCAA also asserts that the Ninth Circuit’s ruling conflicts with the Third, Fifth, and Seventh Circuits rulings on similar issues. Those circuits have all held that since the NCAA “needs ample latitude” to preserve college sports that any challenge scrutinizing the NCAA’s amateurism rules conflicts with the Board of Regents’ decision. The NCAA argues that the Ninth Circuits ruling in Alston creates a split between the circuits that it wishes the Supreme Court to resolve.

The NCAA also asserts that there are important questions of federal law to be resolved. They further assert that the injunction will cause irreparable harm to college athletics in terms of budget and competitive balance.

Hopefully, The NCAA is Not Granted a Shield Against Antitrust Law

Hopefully, the NCAA is not granted any antitrust law protection. After all, it is one of the only avenues current and former college athletes have to advocate on their behalf. It was not until the O’Bannon case that the NCAA agreed to allow college athletes to receive scholarships up to the cost of attendance. The O’Bannon case was bought on federal antitrust law grounds. The case gave current and former college athletes one of their biggest wins yet. College athletes must retain the ability to advocate for their rights. It is for these reasons that there is such a big push for college athletes’ rights. The NCAA clearly cares more about protecting capitalism, not doing what is best for college athletes.

2020 College Football Season Could Be In a Precarious Position

Pac-12 9am games Larry Scott Commissioner

Last week, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott expressed pessimism about the prospect of the 2020 College Football season taking place as scheduled.

Scott, speaking with Andy Katz of NCAA.com, stated the need of flattening the COVID-19 curve to start the season as scheduled.

Is a 2020 College Football Season in the Fall Feasible?

Major League Soccer will be the first professional sports league to return this week. Other major leagues, such as the NBA, NHL, and MLB, have tentative plans to return to play starting later this month.

However, college sports have been put in a more precarious position. It is virtually impossible to keep college players in a bubble. Having students on some college campuses means that in-person classes will be a reality, at least at this point. It will be interesting to see if athletes will possibly have exemptions to not have to interact with the student population.

At the University of Colorado Boulder, there will be students living on-campus, off-campus in Boulder, and there will also be commuter students. They will either drive or take public transit to Boulder. With many people coming from different locations, it will be impossible to keep the “bubble” concept with the expectation that student-athletes have in-person interactions with other students.

The other issue that makes it harder to enforce a 2020 College Football season is that the athletes are not paid. It seems like a huge ask to make athletes stay within or apart from certain communities of people when they are not compensated for services in a purely monetary manner.

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Which 2020 College Football Season Alternative Would Be the Best?

Larry Scott put some scenarios out for how the next College Football season may be played. Obviously, the best version of the season would be to have it be played as scheduled. However, there are three alternatives that Scott is considering.

Option 1: A Delayed Start

Delaying the start of the season could help, especially if fans are allowed in stadiums at some point. However, there are major negatives to this plan. For one, it could make the season extend into the start of the spring semester, which may affect players’ abilities to spend the holiday season with their families. It could also mean changes to the non-conference schedule. Delaying the season, but keeping it in the fall, would probably be the worst choice out of the three. Players must worry about their education and extending the regular season possibly through finals would be another distraction for everyone involved.

Option 2: Conference-Only Scheduling

Conference-only scheduling could be beneficial. Teams would be assured of only having to play regionalized games against their opponents. However, it could affect revenue that schools could receive from national exposure against other conferences. Oregon has a massive non-conference tilt against Ohio State in September. This game could and hopefully would get rescheduled if they are unable to play. However, it may rid the seniors of an opportunity they were promised when they were recruited to the school.  

Option 3: Moving the Season to the Spring

Moving the 2020 College Football season to the spring may be the most feasible option out of the three Larry Scott presented. If all the conferences come to an agreement, the schedule could be maintained somewhat. There would still be some problems with this option though. It would be interesting to see what the financial impact of this decision would be. It could also complicate the NFL Draft process for players. Frankly, moving the season to the spring could cause more players to sit out to protect draft stock.

Moving the Season to the Spring Strongest Option Because of Possibility of Fans in Stands

All three of the options are flawed, which will rightly frustrate fans. However, there could be a vaccine before a spring football season, which could help the games have a college atmosphere. The fans and the pageantry are more integral to the college football scene than any other sport. College football without fans may be the weirdest to watch out of all sports. One thing is for sure: college football is at its greatest when teams and fans can share the pride they have in the university they get their education from. In the end, the hope is that the 2020 College Football season can take place in some form.

Colorado Buffaloes Football: Positive Outcomes From Off-season Challenges

NFL Endzones Colorado Buffaloes Black Lives Matter

On Monday, Colorado Buffaloes head coach Karl Dorrell addressed the media via a Zoom conference. The Buffaloes are looking to start voluntary workouts on June 15.

Dorrell Acknowledges Following Safety Precautions Will Increase Likelihood of 2020 College Football for Colorado Buffaloes

The Coronavirus Pandemic has provided unique challenges for sports teams across the globe. However, Dorrell hopes that these challenges will be met so fans can at least watch the Buffaloes on television in the fall.

“We all want football to be here this fall, and we have to do what is in our best interest and the best we can to adhere to the policies that are going to give us the best chance for that to happen,” Dorrell said.

Dorrell is not exactly the biggest fan of having to wear a mask on campus but understands why that policy exists.

“It is a pain in the you know what wearing a mask outside,” Dorrell said. “But you know that is the policy they want you to have on campus. We kept them on all the way across campus and back.”

Dorrell Believes College Football Can Take the Lead on Global Issue of Pandemic

The feeling at college campuses across the nation will be vastly different this fall. The classroom setting will look like a waiting room at the doctor’s office in a way, as everyone will be wearing a mask.

Even though football and sports in general are not at the core of the pandemic, Dorrell believes that football can take the lead in showing how to deal with different aspects of the pandemic.

“This is a global issue, but for the nation, we’re all dealing with this and they are looking at the NFL or College Football to kind of be the lead as to how to handle this thing,” Dorrell said.

Despite Different Offseason, Dorrell Sees Level Playing Field In 2020 College Football

Karl Dorrell will not be taking excuses as the Colorado Buffaloes prepare for the season. Even though the offseason was different to begin with, Dorrell believes the team will be prepared.

“We feel we should have had just as good a chance of being successful as anybody, regardless of our start,” Dorrell said.

All of college football had a different start. Because of this, Dorrell does not see a disparity in the amount of preparation teams were able to get.

“I think because of this pandemic everybody is in the same boat, so it actually puts us on a level playing field, in my opinion,” Dorrell said.

Protests Could Bring 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Football Team Even More Together With Community

In Boulder, there are expectations in Karl Dorrell’s first year. Still, outside of the Boulder and Denver Metro Areas, no one is expecting much in Dorrell’s first year as the Buffaloes’ head coach.

However, it seems like Dorrell is planting the seeds for success possibly in the short term and the long term. He seems to be direct and to the point and is clear about how he wants his team to act. Dorrell does not want any excuses but has praised the team’s togetherness and willingness to adjust to the times.

The team seems to be together as one cohesive unit. Wide Receiver K.D. Nixon led the Boulder community as they peacefully protested police brutality in wake of George Floyd’s death on June 5. Colorado Buffaloes football is a huge pillar of the Boulder community, and the team taking this stand could help in uniting themselves with the community.

Karl Dorrell stated that the team will have a community-based event to address the many subjects that have been talked about in wake of George Floyd’s death at least one a month. Dorrell acknowledged that certain important discussions may wane over time. Still, he wants to make sure that the team continues to empower the community to have these tough but necessary conversations in the months to come.

“I think it is important for our country to step up like this and empower our young people to be a big part of the process,” Dorrell said.

NCAA Suffers Blow In Alston v NCAA Scholarship Cost of Attendance Case

Alston v NCAA

Late last month, the NCAA suffered another blow to its amateurism model. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in Alston v NCAA that the NCAA’s restriction on education-related benefits for college athletes violated federal antitrust law. During the trial in 2018, college athletes forced the NCAA to defend its farce of amateurism.

What is Amateurism?

The NCAA’s amateurism rules preclude college athletes from receiving any pay for their athletic skills. The amateurism rules are the outgrowth of the idea that athletes should only play for the love of the game. It is this concept that the NCAA implores to carry out its mission. The NCAA’s mission is to “maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the student body and, by doing so, retain a clear line of demarcation between intercollegiate athletics and professional sports”. The NCAA uses this concept to further its mission. It does this by ensuring that college athletes do not receive any payment that is not approved by the NCAA.

Somehow the NCAA believes that making sure college athletes do not receive any pre-approved payment is sufficient to keep college sports separate from professional sports. The NCAA conveniently ignores other facets of college sports that are very akin to professional sports. Those facets include coaches’ million-dollar salaries, the billion-dollar television broadcasting deals, and the multi-million-dollar sports facilities on various college campuses. To the NCAA, the only thing that would professionalize college sports is paying the actual people who make all of the revenue possible. Fortunately, college athletes have begun to have enough of the system that intentionally leaves them out of the revenue sharing. College athletes challenged the system during the Alston v NCAA trial where they chiseled away at the sham of amateurism.

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Alston v NCAA District Court Trial

During the trial, college athletes challenged the NCAA’s amateurism rules by arguing that the NCAA has violated federal antitrust law. An antitrust law violation occurs when an organization conspires to place a restraint on trade in a free market. The plaintiffs, in this case, argued that the NCAA did just that through their amateurism rules. Specifically, they argued that the NCAA’s rules limiting college athletes to cost-of-attendance scholarships violates federal antitrust law. Additionally, the college athletes argued that there were other less restrictive ways that the NCAA could meet its goal.

The NCAA conceded that the rules in question did in fact violate federal antitrust law. However, the NCAA contended that their rules served two procompetitive purposes. Specifically, the NCAA argued that their rules were necessary to retain consumer interest in college sports. The NCAA contended college athletes being unpaid is what keeps college sports separate from professional sports. They argued that it is this separation that drives consumer interest. Additionally, the NCAA argued that its amateurism rules were necessary to keep college athletes integrated into the greater college campus community.

Ultimately, the District Court ruled that the NCAA was violating federal antitrust law with its blanket prohibition on payments beyond a cost-of-attendance scholarship. The court ruled that the NCAA could serve their procompetitive purposes using a less restrictive means. Accordingly, the court ruled that the NCAA could no longer restrict benefits given to college athletes that are tethered to education. Such benefits include things like computers and musical instruments. These types of benefits help further college athletes’ pursuit of their education.

The NCAA Can Still Restrict Non-Education Related Benefits

However, the NCAA may still restrict payments above a cost-of- scholarship that is not tethered to education. Therefore, the NCAA is still able to serve its procompetitive purpose of keeping college sports separate from professionals by ensuring college athletes do not receive any non-education related benefit.

The Appeals Court affirmed the District Courts Decision

While the NCAA did not completely lose the District Court case, they still appealed. On appeal, the court considered whether the District Court erred in their ruling. However, the appeals court affirmed the lower court’s decision. The court reasoned that the NCAA could keep college sports separate from professional sports while allowing college athletes to receive unrestricted education-related benefits. The court further reasoned that it would not adversely affect consumer interest in college sports. When the NCAA allowed college athletes to receive cost-of-attendance scholarships, that did not adversely affect consumer interest in college sports, as the NCAA originally said it would. As such, the court affirmed that allowing the NCAA to limit non-education related benefits while requiring the allowance of educational benefits was a reasonable balance that would allow the NCAA to further its mission.

CU Boulder Having In-Person Classes In Fall: What It Means For Football

Colorado-buffaloes-ralphie

The University of Colorado Boulder is going to have in-person classes in the fall. This decision has ramifications for Colorado Buffaloes football. Having students on the CU Boulder campus could make the decision to play football and even possibly have some fans in the stadium easier.

The Decision to Reopen CU Boulder Campus Comes With Risks

CU Boulder has a commitment to the well-being of everyone who may step foot on campus. Students will definitely be nervous about going into an environment where they are at risk of catching the novel coronavirus. Athletes will also be put into special circumstances. The reason that many professional sports leagues will be able to resume is that the athletes are under contract and are receiving a salary. College athletes will not be.

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Does a school want to put their athletes at risk by being immersed within the student population? Will athletes accept these conditions? There are many questions that come with a decision like this one. Athletics are a huge part of a university’s money pool, and it will be interesting to see what CU Boulder and other institutions decide for their athletes. Fans want to know their athletes will be ready to play if there are games in the fall.

CU Boulder Coaches Could Be Forced To Go With Experience Over Talent

In a normal season, many players would have more chances to showcase their abilities to their coaches. Obviously this is not the case this season. Thus, players who have been in the program longer may have an easier time winning starting jobs this season.

At the quarterback position, Tyler Lytle will probably start opening day for the Buffaloes. Brendon Lewis may have a larger skill set, but Lytle’s experience within the system may be the deciding factor. The main issue for head coach Karl Dorrell is that he does not have much in-game film from any of his top three quarterbacks at the college level. Redshirt senior Sam Noyer may also have a better shot at the starting job because of his experience, but remember that he played safety, not quarterback, last season under Mel Tucker.

Who Would Get Tickets If Folsom Field Is Allowed To Fill At Any Capacity?

Many Buffs fans already get season tickets to see their favorite team in action. However, the atmosphere at college football games will be different. It is a safe bet that there will not be full stadiums anywhere this season.

Thus, expect any fans that may be at Buffaloes football games this season to be students or season ticket holders. Alumni and donors may also get priority over other fans. It will be interesting to see how much the Pac-12 Conference themselves oversees this process. Oregon Governor Kate Brown already stated that people in Oregon cannot congregate at sporting events through at least September.

Not having full college football stadiums will be unique. It will suck to not see the pageantry and tradition on full display. Spending a fall Saturday afternoon cheering on the school where you are being educated is a pillar of the college experience, and not having this experience may be tough for students. One area that could be affected because of this could be school spirit. One of the pillars that make people fall in love with the place in which they are receiving their education is the sense of community that is felt at sporting events. Fans feel like they are a part of something.

Speculation Does Not Mean Jumping To Conclusions

CU Boulder made a decision to let students back on campus for the fall. Any motives for making this move are purely speculation, but there are educated guesses from many people as to why they make the decisions the way they do. Anything that people hear about this situation is fluid; in other words, it is not set in stone. At the end of the day, everyone’s well-being should be the university’s number one priority. There should be extra care taken with where athletes go, as everyone’s chances of catching the virus go up by being in the community. It is important that athletes, fans, and students at CU Boulder participate within the community, but do so in a safe manner. Fans want to see their favorite players playing on Saturdays this fall. Hopefully the community does their part to help make this a reality.

2020 Pac-12 College Football Season: Uncertainty, But Hope is Here

Pac-12 Bowl Games

No one knows what the 2020 college football season holds. Many conferences may be gearing up to run their seasons independently of their cohorts. It will be interesting to see how different conferences react to developments surrounding the coronavirus, but there have been seeds that have been planted as far as state orders in some of the top Pac-12 cities.

Governors Kate Brown and Gavin Newsom Offer Grim Outlook on College Football Fans in Pac-12 Stadiums

Oregon Governor Kate Brown stated her belief that fans will not be able to gather for sporting events through September. This development means that Oregon’s huge Week 2 game against Ohio State could be played in front of no fans. Depending on how different areas of the country move along with their response, should both Oregon and Ohio State consider switching the venues this season? However, questions like these are met with a double-edge sword. Stadiums will most likely not be able to fill up to 100 percent capacity by September anywhere.

California Governor Gavin Newsom cast his doubt on fans being able to see their favorite Pac-12 teams in action. His belief is that a vaccine needs to be widely available. It is hard to imagine Stanford hosting USC or California hosting TCU in front of no fans. However, this may be the reality. It may be hard for someone to accept the risk associated with attending a sporting event without a vaccine.

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How Might College Football Fans React to the 2020 College Football Season Being Pushed Back

Non-conference games like TCU-California and Ohio State-Oregon are scheduled with the fans in mind. These types of games are supposed to bring in revenue for these schools. Fans get hyped for huge out-of-conference games because they provide teams from within the conference with a chance to become more nationally relevant. The Pac-12 has not made the College Football Playoff since 2016, and winning these types of games is paramount for them to become relevant. The atmosphere at these types of games always makes it more difficult for the opponent. Sure, there would be the issue of travel for the road teams, but would Ohio State see a road game against Oregon without the raucous Duck crowd as a hostile environment.

There are season-ticket holders who invest in their favorite college team, whether that team is from their alma mater or if they are connected to them some other way. When a team like Ohio State is going to play in Eugene, fans want to see that game. It will be interesting to see the ways in which conferences ramp up security so fans do not congregate outside the stadium. They will still want to be heard even if they are not allowed in the stadium.

Another Factor to Consider For 2020 College Football Season: The Lack of Player Compensation

College football players have the distinct challenge of trying to balance their studies with another full-time job: playing for the football team. While most players are provided with the benefits of a scholarship and a monthly stipend for food, it would be crazy for these conferences to force them back on the field.

The NCAA and the conferences themselves will have to ask themselves the question of if they want to put these players at risk. College football is at more of a risk of being postponed until next spring because these players are not compensated unlike the NFL. Students may not be returning to campus next semester. For example, the University of Colorado Boulder may be offering a hybrid of in-person and remote learning during the fall semester. If students cannot be on campus all the time, is it too much for institutions and fans to expect their athletes to stay on campus all the time?

Despite the Circumstances, There Is Hope for the Future

Delaying gratification is tough for any human. However, if there ends up being a delay in the start of the 2020 college football season, it is not like the games will not still happen. Oregon and Ohio State will hopefully still end up playing each other in a home-and-home series. These matchups are great for college football. College football is a great escape from the stresses of school for students and the stress of work for the general fan base. There may be a question of when college sports can return to normal, but there is a lot of hope that they will return to normal. Whether it’s in a stadium or on a couch, college football fans will eventually be able to see their favorite teams in action again.