COACH SPEAK – MAY 14
By Leo Haggerty

PAC12 FOOTBALL COACHES TELECONFERENCE – DAY 2

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

So, we move on to the second day of the PAC12 Football Coaches Teleconference.  Today guest head honchos are Jimmy Lake from the University of Washington and Karl Dorrell from the University of Colorado along with Kyle Whittingham from the University of Utah.

Below are the answers to the same question that I posed to all three head coaches.  Their answers are not the same by any means.  Enjoy.

LH : The demographics of Boulder and Salt Lake City are totally different than Seattle.  From the standpoint of competitive balance, does the PAC 12 have to dictate that everyone starts together or could Utah and Colorado start two weeks before Washington?

JL : Yeah.  You know, that’s a great question, Leo.  I’m of the opinion that it would be great if the NCAA would make a blanket rule for the whole nation when we could start.  I know that there are some states that are less hit by this than most.  I’m sure there will be some different opinions after me but, in my opinion, I believe that the NCAA should step in and say here’s the date when everyone can start.  Obviously, we have a non-conference game to start off and if they were able to practice two months before we were able to practice that would be a disadvantage to us.  We’re not even talking about playing Utah or Colorado but just the first game that we are slated to play.  That’s what I would be for because it puts everyone on an even playing field.  I believe the NFL is going through the same issue right now with some states opening up before others.  I’ve heard some NFL coaches have the same sentiment.

KD :  In general, I feel the same way that Jimmy does.  I think there should be a blanket start to that six-week process, or whenever time frame it is, to prepare for your season.  I think, you know, that the NCAA should govern that.  In terms of the opening, when things are opening from one state to the another, I think governing the time of training that’s usually involving the normal NCAA guidelines when it comes to hours that you can normally do things is big.  I made this proposition to the group last week and that is if Colorado could open up and were able to work out, that’s still just a time of training where there is supervision.  I would be in favor of that and, from a conference perspective, if there were schools that couldn’t do that, where they were still out and couldn’t come back on campus, I would try to get it legislated where those campuses have virtual supervision for workouts because the kids can’t be back on campus.  I just think that, when we can open up and play, not play but I think the correct term would be to train.  When it comes to training, we haven’t had a lot of time to do anything like that.  I would try to take advantage of any, and all, time that I can under what the NCAA guidelines governs us to do.

KW :  As far as my opinion for training and the six-week lead-in, whatever we call that, they are two different entities.  I don’t believe that players that have the opportunity, and the availability, to train that it should be withheld from them.  Everything has to be in the best interest of the players, in my opinion.  There’s imbalances and inequities all across the board in the NCAA.  Facilities wise, recruiting bases, and nothing is really equal when you look at it.  I would hate to see athletes just sitting around that you could be training and getting ready for the season just because other places are just not quite yet to that point.  Now, the other side of that is, the lead-in time to the season needs to be the same.  Whether it’s six weeks or seven weeks, I think that needs to be mandated.  I just don’t like to see athletes, that would have the opportunity and the clearance and the go ahead, to sit around and wait just because of where they lived.  Like I said, we can debate all day long how much inequity there is in college football but that’s just my opinion.