JR SportBrief: “If I’m Justin Fields, I Ain’t Playing” Spring Football

As JR SportBrief explains, a spring college football season won’t work – for many reasons

August 13, 2020 - 9:08 am
Justin Fields Ohio State

USA Today Images


COVID-19 has flipped the college football world upside down. Several conferences have already canceled or postponed the fall season, while other conferences are going to forge ahead – at least as of now.

Many coaches and players have expressed a desire to play in the spring, but as JR SportBrief explains, well, it’s complicated.

“If we’re going to have spring football, you do have to think about the health of athletes,” JR said on CBS Sports Radio. “If I’m Justin Fields, I ain’t playing. You expect me to show up in January, play in February and participate in the NFL Draft in April? You think I want to tear an Achilles? You think I want to make a knee go a direction that it’s not supposed to go? I’m supposed to go out there and mess up my millions of dollars? Hell no. It’s not happening. So if you’re a star athlete, you ain’t playing in spring football. You’re going to watch it on television just like everybody else.”

Conference must also consider scholarships and eligibility – not only for active players, but for incoming high school seniors as well. And what about the weather?

“If you’re in the Big Ten, who’s playing in Ann Arbor in the wintertime?” JR asked. “We’re just going to go ahead like it’s nothing? Are you going to try to play spring football in a bubble? . . . There are a lot of question marks to really go forward and really have college football in the spring.”

Of course, if there is not a season, universities stand to lose a lot of money – in ticket sales, yes, but also in TV contracts.

“When we talk about whether or not we’re going to have spring football, is it really about the athletes just because they want to play?” JR asked. “Or is it more about the dollars and the cents? Spring football, when you really look at it, outside of the money, it doesn’t make any sense.”

If programs can get their ducks in a row, maybe a spring season happens. But it’s not going to match a fall season in quality or intrigue.

“We can have college football, but you’re going to have it without the stars,” JR said. “Are people going to tune in at the same rate? Probably. But the interest, it’s not going to be there the same. So when it comes to spring football, I get the urgency from some of the universities. I get the urgency from some of the players. It’d be nice. But I also think ultimately spring football, you can scrap it.”