Written by Ben the Pen
The closer we get to the summer months, it appears that college football will return in some form or fashion. When will it return? Will schools get rid of their non-conference schedule and play a longer conference schedule (if possible)? Will FBS teams still play guaranteed games against FCS squads? Will there be any fans in the stands? Will there be students on campus when the games start?
College football players don't have much of a say in that matter, but they are not forced to play in a pandemic, where a vaccine will probably not be available in September.
The Athletic's David Ubben conducted a poll of 45 college football players from every Power 5 and Group of Five conferences as long as FCS teams. Of the 45 players who were surveyed, nearly 80% of the athletes said they would be comfortable returning to campus, even if their fellow students are not allowed to be there.
They were asked about their comfort level about returning to campus on a scale of 1 to 5 with one being extremely uncomfortable and five being extremely comfortable. Not one player said they would be extremely uncomfortable returning to campus.
On Wednesday, the NCAA decided that college football and basketball and can being their voluntary offseason workouts on June 1.
Not everybody agrees with the decision to open up the facilities. Oklahoma head football coach Lincoln Riley called the decision "ridiculous," according to Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman.
"We have to be very patient. This has nothing to do or very little to do with actually putting them in a weight room or workout facility. Sure, we can put 10 guys in a facility, social distance them, sanitize it and make it safe. That's not the point.
"We cannot control over a hundred players for that amount of time and know exactly what they're going to do. These guys are 18 to 22 years old. They're going to socialize. They're going to want to be around each other. They're going to want to be around their peers. And that makes it dangerous, not only for our players, but also for our staff ... you've got a lot of staff members that are a more susceptible age range."
As for playing the season on time, 24 of the 45 players voted in favor of delaying the start of the season rather than playing games with no attendance.
When it comes to contracting the coronavirus, 36 of the 45 players were not worried about it and no player they were extremely worried. About little more than half of the players (27) said they would be very comfortable playing in front of fans next season, while 11 players were on a 4 on that scale.