Welcome back, Coach! We hope you enjoyed the long weekend. We’ve got three stories for you.
1. Colorado may follow Michigan’s lead, switch back to fall football (9News Colorado)
We’re starting to see politicians get involved in the push for fall football in some states, and one that may follow Michigan’s lead — and return to a fall football model in 2020 — is Colorado.
Colorado schools are currently set to return to play on March 4, as is noted on our state-by-state return date tracker.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis made comments in a news conference that suggested his state might get fall football after all.
Polis said his team “would be thrilled to work with CHSAA on a fall football schedule.”
“I think there’s some opportunity to have a fall season for those who are ready,” Polis said. “As long as it doesn’t interfere with getting back to school, we would be thrilled to work with CHSAA if their board chooses to move in this direction tonight to approve a fall schedule for CHSAA-sanctioned football, to give our athletes a chance to compete.”
Check out the entire story about Colorado’s return plan on 9News Colorado.
For schools that have postponed football season until the spring, on what date will it be too late to reinstate a fall football schedule?
2. High School Football: Beloved Fall Tradition Or Unnecessary Coronavirus Risk? (NPR)
High school football is happening in more than 30 states (and counting) this fall. And so is a debate over whether it’s right, or reckless, to let teenagers play a game considered high risk for COVID-19 transmission.
NPR had a story on this over the weekend.
Down in Alabama Mark Rose played for the legendary coach Pat Dye at Auburn. He’s been a high school head coach for 23 years, he’s currently at Russell County High, and was the fifth fastest in Alabama to win 100 games.
So it’s notable when Rose says kids shouldn’t be playing during a pandemic.
“I mean it’s flat out child exploitation,” Rose said. “Of course kids want to play. But we are charged to protect them.”
“[With] the NCAA, any school that can’t test in football or any high-risk contact sport once per week, is shut down completely,” Rose said. “We have no testing policy. Our testing policy is wait ’til somebody gets real sick and then go tell the parents to test them.”
Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney disagrees with Rose — believing his kids need to be on the field like they were on Friday night.
“That’s why I’m hoarse, ’cause I’m talking about space out,” Raney said after his team’s win. “We took five charter buses last week to Huntsville so we could space our kids out. It’s a mess to tell you the truth for coaches, ’cause you’re trying to coach a kid and win games with all that [coronavirus precautions]. It’s tough but I feel like we’ve done a good job with our kids. I think we need to be out here.”
Do you think the benefit of playing this fall is worth the reward?
3. LSU Football Files Patent for New Helmet “Cooling and Circulation” Technology (Sports Illustrated)
Part of the gameplan for this new, unprecedented 2020 season is to keep the players healthy and safe on the field. That extends to the equipment, including the helmets the players wear.
The first trial run of a new helmet design at LSU this summer was met with mixed reviews. The face mask, which covered the whole helmet, made it hard for the players to breathe.
One of the running videos on social media that week was right tackle Austin Deculus saying it’s like trying to breathe “in a ziploc bag.” Coach Ed Orgeron responded to the new helmets, saying there will be an adjustment period with them.
“We all played football, if I had something on where I couldn’t breathe, I wouldn’t be comfortable,” Orgeron said on Off the Bench. “I think it’s just going to be an adjustment period, work through it and we’re going to have some different choices.”
The new devices leverage the passive air vents in the helmet and make them active with small battery-driven fans attached to flexible tubing. The tubes can be customized and mounted to the inside of the helmet to direct air wherever it’s needed, usually forward and downward over the face, toward a visor or plastic face shield. For added protection, N95 filter material can be added at the intake.
The technology will hopefully help in making the helmets all the more comfortable for the players moving forward.
Would you consider using this helmet based on these reviews?
What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk