Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley: Prefer Football in Fall but Spring 'Very Doable'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 3, 2020

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley speaks during an NCAA college football media day in Norman, Okla., Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley believes that playing football in the spring is possible if the coronavirus pandemic impacts the traditional fall schedule.  

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Riley acknowledged that he hopes "like hell we can play in the fall," but pushing the schedule back isn't as big of a problem as some are making it out to be.

"I think the people who say it's not [an option], in my opinion, just don't want to think about it," he said. I just think it would be wrong of us to take any potential option off the table right now. I think it'd be very difficult to say the spring is not a potential option. I, for one, think it's very doable."

Given the uncertainty around when campuses can open amid the pandemic, that creates another potential issue for university athletic programs. 

Some schools, including the University of Houston and Kansas State University, had to shut down voluntary workouts due to a growing number of COVID-19 cases among members of the football teams. LSU has placed at least 30 members of the football program into quarantine. 

In April, during the early stages of the pandemic, Stadium's Brett McMurphy reported one president from a Power Five school suggested moving the 2020 season to the spring. 

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Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour told reporters this week that a spring season "would be a last resort" because of problems it would create because of the quick turnaround time for the 2021 fall schedule. 

Oklahoma football players returned to campus this week for voluntary workouts that started on Wednesday. The Sooners announced 14 positive COVID-19 cases out of 111 players tested. 

Oklahoma is currently scheduled to start the 2020 season on Sept. 5 against Missouri State at Owen Field. 

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