Skull Session: NCAA's Chief Doctor Says Football Can Be Played, Urban Meyer Brings Up a Massive Competitive Disadvantage, and Iowa Athletic Director Says Big Ten Football in October Would Take a “Miracle”

By Kevin Harrish on September 7, 2020 at 4:59 am
Justin Fields' Heisman Campaign should have begun.

We're nine games into the college football season, and we're batting over .200 on teams missing entire position groups due to quarantine.

I can't wait until a team has to roll without a quarterback. I just pray I find out the news before my bookie does.

Word of the Day: Licentiousness.

 NCAA'S TOP DOC GIVES GREEN LIGHT. The Big Ten won't be playing football for medical reasons this fall, so I'm sure you all will be delighted to hear that the NCAA's Chief Medical Advisor is "highly confident" in the SEC, Big 12 and ACC's decisions to play.

Perhaps if he would have taken this stance and shown some leadership months ago as the top doctor over all collegiate sports, we wouldn't be where we are today.


 IT AIN'T FAIR. During an appearance on BTN last week, Urban Meyer continued his passionate disdain for the idea of a spring football season (along with a general disbelief that it will materialize anyway), but he also took things in a new direction, highlighting the massive competitive disadvantage this is all going to be for the teams who don't play this season.

Basically, Meyer said, some teams are about to lose out on a ton of development in a sport that relies massively on development.

On the flip side, if guys like Justin Fields or Shaun Wade aren't gonna play this season, that frees up about a billion practice reps for the next men up before next fall that otherwise would have been reserved for starters, and they'll all be developmental reps, not gameplan reps.

 “TAKE A MIRACLE.” Big Ten football's been dead for almost a month at this point, and yet we're all still holding out hope for a Lazarus-like resurrection.

And according to Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, that's exactly what an October Big Ten season would take – a miracle.

“If a miracle was handed to us today and said, ‘If you take this vaccine, you won’t get COVID,’ yeah, I suppose you could come up with a scenario where you could play in October,” Barta told reporters. “I don’t know between that miracle and where we are right now, whether or not we could get that done. I’ll wait and see what the medical group comes back with and then it will ultimately be up to the college presidents to evaluate that.”


“I feel better today than I did maybe a month ago, but I know we’re not there yet,” Barta said about a return to play in the Big Ten. “Until I hear something that I know is going to convince the ADs and the presidents that we can go forward, I won’t say too much until I see it."

So... You're telling me there's a chance?

 THREEBLER TO ISRAEL. Folks, it looks like Jon Diebler's back in basketball is gonna be bringing some buckets to Tel Aviv.

After a year off from playing overseas professional basketball, Diebler's making his return, joining the Hapoel Tel Aviv Basketball Club.

An interesting wrinkle I found after laboriously translating a Tweet from Hebrew to English (shoutout to Twitter's "translate" button), Hapoel Tel Aviv is bringing on Diebler because "technical issues" kept fellow Buckeye Daequan Cook from coming to Israel to join the team.

Either that or it was one hell of a coincidence or they asked Cook if he had anyone he could recommend and he directed them to Diebler. Either way, I'm all for it.

 DISCONNECT UP NORTH. Jim Harbaugh is Michigan's highest-paid employee by lightyears and is the school's most visible representative to the public, yet he feels like he has to march in a demonstration with players, parents and fans to get the attention of the University President Mark Schlissel.

It's been months, and Schlissel hasn't even answered a damn text message.

“I have had none. I’ve texted and Warde Manuel has done all the conversations with President Schlissel,” Harbaugh said. “You think I maybe got some inside information or something but I don’t. I can tell you how practice was, how the workouts have been. I could tell you we just had another 120 tests that were all negative. That’s close to a thousand tests in a row, completely negative. I could tell you how the guys’ grades are. Those are the things I’m focusing on — training and focusing our guys.”


“I texted Mark, e-mailed, showed him all results,” Harbaugh said. “(Senior Associate AD and Chief Health & Welfare Officer) Darryl Conway has been down to our facility multiple times and he thinks what we’re doing is a real model for everybody. It’s a testament to the players and to the staff, everybody really following the protocols.

“So yeah — he’s aware. He’s aware. So is Warde Manuel.”

The players and coaches have busted their asses to follow guidelines, done everything asked of them, have yet to register a single positive test, and the guy that's supposed to be representing them in all of this decision making can't even have a brief conversation? That's straight-up bullschlissel.

By contrast, Ryan Day, Gene Smith and Kristina Johnson didn't just communicate, they were "fully aligned" and working together before she even officially took office.

I'm not saying they need to talk every day or even agree, but as a president, I don't think it's a great look when your institution's highest-paid employee is marching against your own decision-making and telling the public that you haven't even talked to him about it.

But hey, I'm just a blogger writing Internet words. You do you!

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