Barrett Sallee On 2020 Season: Schools "Need That Revenue"

Colleges and universities – not just athletic departments – need football in 2020

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
May 26, 2020 - 8:11 am
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The NCAA will allow student-athletes to participate in voluntary athletics beginning June 1. Individual schools, however, will be able to decide how they proceed going forward.

“It is up to the schools, but as far as how the process goes, it kind of has to go top down,” CBS NCAA football insider Barrett Sallee said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “The NCAA [decided] to open its doors, so to speak, from June 1 through June 30, [which] allows the conferences to do what they want to do and then the teams get to make their decision accordingly.”

Is it possible that the NCAA is treating June as a COVID-19 trial period? And that the NCAA could shut everything down if there are outbreaks?

“They could for sure, but I think what they’re going to do is basically learn best practices,” Sallee said. “They feel like it’s safe to start, and schools are going to go about it the way they feel like they can go about it. I expect the window on June 30 to close for a very short period of time where they can reassess and say, ‘When does fall camp start? When does mandatory strength and conditioning start? Can you do that under the normal timeframe to get the season going [on time]? 

“So I think they’re going to open up a window again,” Sallee continued. “But since they feel like it’s safe – and I think most people feel like this is going to be okay, whether it be pro sports or college sports, that this is the right time to start operating again – that they’re going to go through it and not necessarily use it as a trial, but learn how to do this as best as possible, take a little bit of a break, maybe a week or two, and then open things up for mandatory workouts or mandatory fall camps or whatever. For lack of a better term, they’re dipping their toe in the water with the intent of diving in relatively quickly.”

Sallee believes a majority of head coaches and athletic directors support this decision.

“I think it was expected,” Sallee said. “I think it’s a relief. I think most ADs and most coaches recognized that something like this had to happen in or around the June 1 or June 15 timeframe in order to get their teams in football shape. Because that coincides with the curve falling, so to speak, I thin they knew that something had to be done and [that] getting back to normal life from an athletic perspective was necessary.”

Other higher-ups at colleges and universities probably support the NCAA’s decision as well.

“It’s not just the athletic departments,” Sallee said. “If you’re talking about college football, there are certain colleges and universities – not just the athletic departments – the universities need that kind of revenue, so I think they wanted this to happen. They wanted to approach it in a very responsible way knowing that a prolonged shutdown or the inability to operate in the 2020-21 academic year would be so detrimental, not just to college athletics and TV contracts, but a whole crop of students that aren’t going to get the opportunity to better themselves and get ready for their future.”