We know where the NFL stands on playing games during this uncertain time (“the show must go on” appears to be the league’s company line), but will college football return to our television screens this fall? University of Kansas coach Les Miles sure thinks so.
“We’re gonna’ play college football in the fall, that’s what’s been said,” Miles said with little hesitation Thursday during his appearance on KCSP’s “Cody & Gold.” “There’s a bunch of guys who can’t wait to play.”
Miles, who is entering his second year in Lawrence following a 12-year LSU tenure that included a national title in 2007, acknowledged the NCAA’s return date is still somewhat of a moving target, though the Jayhawks coach insists football will be played in 2020.
“Now we got to make sure we’re safe with our kids,” said Miles, one of several guests featured as part of Thursday’s telethon benefiting the Tyrann Mathieu Foundation. “Our players, when they take the field, it’s got to be done with the idea that we’re doing it with them in mind.” Many have expressed optimism that the college football season will go on as planned despite the coronavirus quarantine stretching now into its third month, but Miles’ remarks Thursday may be the most definitive statement we’ve heard yet.
“May 31st, June 15th, June 1st, August 15th,” said Miles, offering potential start dates for offseason work. “And it could be later.” The NCAA canceled its spring sports season as well as its marquee basketball event, March Madness, due to COVID-19, a virus that has caused over 268,000 worldwide deaths including 76,101 in the United States (easily the most of any country). Countless hurdles remain before student athletes can resume playing their respective sports—testing would need to be readily available, which is not the case currently. But Miles seems confident, if not certain, those issues will be ironed out well ahead of the fall sports schedule.
Miles, who coached sons Manny (a backup quarterback) and fullback Ben during his debut season at Kansas, said the quarantine has been a mixed experience for him. “I like being with my family. It’s a blast. But I get itchy to go to work.”
There's plenty more to come on Thursday's radio telethon with Chiefs stars Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Frank Clark, Mecole Hardman and coach Andy Reid as well as former Cy Young winner Bret Saberhagen all slated to appear on KCSP's airwaves.