Afterhour Magic

News for nerds

Cal AD hints at games in the spring if fans can’t attend in the fall

California athletic director Jim Knowlton has dealt with a lot after a lengthy career in the military. Yet his greatest challenge may very well be trying to run the Bears athletic department in the middle of a global pandemic.

Like many of his peers, Knowlton has been doing a few rounds of local media to discuss how COVID-19 is impacting his school. With spring sports wiped out already, attention has largely turned to this fall’s football campaign. Namely, that has centered around one question: will there be football?

“I think I optimistically believe there will be a fall season, fall sports. What that looks like and how the season is conducted in the fall, that I don’t know,” Knowlton told an SI affiliate. “I think it’s hard to imagine (without fans). That’s why some people are talking about playing fall sports in the spring in front of full stadiums, if we’re in a better spot in the spring.”

It’s interesting that Knowlton thinks the season could be pushed to the spring if fans are unable to attend games as scheduled in the fall. We’ve seen a wide variety of scenarios made public by coaches, ADs and commissioners and the prospect of spring football being the actual season is one generally floated as a last resort.

Just last week, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly floated the potential for his team to get in the full slate of games if they start by October and others have talked about the various lengths programs will need in order to ramp up and get ready for any sort of football.

What winds up playing out for the 2020 season is anybody’s guess at this point but given the financial implications of having college football for every school in the country, the idea Knowlton hinted at could be one of the ‘break in case of emergency’ sort of options.