Decisions on the return of college football remain divided

Posted at 7:16 PM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 22:16:53-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — College football means business for many schools across the country. And not just in the sense that it loves competition but the fact that the sport brings in serious financial gains for a university which makes decisions like the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences made to postpone fall sports difficult.

"Safety, obviously should be at the top of the concern. However, when you're dealing with that level, talking about a lot of money, a lot of money. And, and, you know, good better and different I mean that that you know plays a major part into every, every school," Bakersfield College Head Football Coach R. Todd Littlejohn said.

With experience at every level of football Coach Littlejohn knows just how tough it is to make a unifying decision across the country for all of college football, especially with money on the line.

He also knows how tough it is for all players who are missing out on a season like Garces Memorial grad and Fresno State junior wide receiver Chris Coleman who was eager to step back into his normal role.

"It’s very difficult because just the competitive nature that I have in the season that I came up last year having to play both ways. This year hopefully only getting a play receiver, I was really looking forward to having that opportunity. And I'm not going to say it was stripped away but you know it kind of feels like it's taken away for the time being," Coleman said. "It's just kind of, it's hard and it brings a lot of other questions that nobody has the answers to."

Questions that trickle down from the college level to high school.

"Juniors or seniors draft [eligibility] at the four-year level, you look at the junior college level with the sophomores and freshmen qualifiers you look at the high school level with kids as they transition to their senior years with many of them make a big jump from their junior to senior year from a recruiting standpoint," Littlejohn said. "I think overall in junior college football you're still trying to allow these young people the opportunity to transfer."

Like Coleman, Carl Jones and Cameron Williams saw their hopes of playing this fall dashed on Tuesday as the Pac-12 officially postponed the season.

But, how much more difficult will it be for the athletes who don't get to compete watching other conferences possibly play? Former Bakersfield teammates try to answer that.

"We've been waiting for quite a while now, and for us to postpone the season, like I said was smart, but watch other people actually play and go on with the season, it would suck," Washington defensive back Cam Williams said.

"If they do try to have a season, then we could be able to sit back and, like, just reflect off what they did wrong if anything did go wrong. So, that'd be a point in time where we can sit and learn, and just watch what they did. And if everything works and we'll probably have our season," UCLA linebacker Carl Jones said.

From the Power Five conferences to junior colleges, all of these teams just want some answers which seems to be the most unlikely thing in the near future.

"The powers that they need to ask coaches and even players and address some of those concerns moving forward and with the hopes that there [are] some provisions that are you know will be made to help," Littlejohn said. "I realize that you're not going to help every single student-athlete in every sport, but at least try to come up with some solution to help."

From the coaches and former local players, all of them are aware that even the plan to play their seasons in the spring is not a guarantee but neither is the idea that these other conferences still looking to play will get to this fall.