The impact of the coronavirus on collegiate and professional football
While college football and the NFL might not yet be in season, the sport is still feeling the impact of the coronavirus — and that’s especially true for the XFL.
Colleges across the nation have started canceling practice, spring games and recruiting.
Kent State was the first FBS team to suspend spring practice. Head coach Sean Lewis determined that practice will be canceled until at least April 13, when regular campus activities resume.
Kent State suspended spring football yesterday, before anybody else in FBS and before basketball tournaments.
Head coach Sean Lewis told me why he made the decision so quickly, and what the plan is moving forward: https://t.co/hTVYRHqgbn
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) March 12, 2020
In adherence with @USC and @USC_Athletics, all football related practices, camps, and clinics have been suspended until further notice. This includes suspending all official and unofficial visits to our football facility.#FightOn pic.twitter.com/poK9wL4dPF
— USC Football (@USC_FB) March 12, 2020
To our team, our fans and to all – stay safe. pic.twitter.com/Eqxnm8XrmA
— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) March 12, 2020
Precautions are also being put into place regarding recruiting.
There are conference-wide mandates against recruiting visits and travel for the ACC, Big Ten and SEC.
Notre Dame, Michigan and UNLV are also adding restrictions, while Ohio State is suspending all off-campus recruiting this spring, and campus recruiting visits through April 20.
We will suspend all official and unofficial visits to our campus through April 20 while we continue to monitor and adjust to today’s changing issues. In addition, our coaches will not recruit off campus this spring while we follow the university’s new temporary travel guidelines.
— Ryan Day (@ryandaytime) March 11, 2020
Pro days for college athletes trying to showcase their skills to NFL scouts, executives and coaches have also been postponed.
At the same time, NFL teams were pulling scouts from the recruiting trail.
The Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins have suspended all travel plans, while the Cleveland Browns are reducing the number of coaches and scouts on the road.
Statement from Owner Dan Snyder: Due to health and travel concerns surrounding COVID-19 #Redskins have informed all coaches and scouts to suspend all travel until further notice. pic.twitter.com/BOMPbNbdZl
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) March 12, 2020
Teams are also urging staff to work from home.
The NFL has told all staff except for operationally critical staff to work from home until further notice beginning tomorrow — “out of an abundance of caution and with the health and safety of our communities as our foremost priority."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2020
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 12, 2020
The Atlanta Falcons will reopen on Monday, March 16 after a deep cleaning.
A statement regarding COVID-19: pic.twitter.com/Gl7YCNnje3
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) March 12, 2020
But the only official change to the NFL’s schedule is canceling the league meeting.
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) March 12, 2020
Otherwise the offseason calendar has not seen any significant shifts thus far.
This remains the current NFL schedule for now:
🗓: Saturday, 11:59 PM EST: Deadline for players to vote on proposed CBA
🗓: Monday, 11:59 AM EST: Deadline to apply a franchise or transition tag
🗓: Monday, Noon EST: Legal tampering window opens
🗓: Wednesday, 4 PM EST: FA begins
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 12, 2020
Discussions are ongoing about the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft and if any changes will be made.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2020
However, the XFL, which is in season, has canceled the remainder of the schedule.
They were five weeks in to the inaugural season.
— XFL (@xfl2020) March 12, 2020
XFL athletes and broadcasters took to social media to express their sentiments following the abrupt end to their season.
Appreciate the love and support the fans & community gave me in St. Louis!! Not sure what the future holds but I’d come back in a heart beat. Definitely a place to be and I will always cherish this first season as a @XFLBattleHawks #kawkawNation
— Jordan Ta'amu (@JTaamu10) March 13, 2020
Unfortunately our XFL season has been cut short due to the virus going around. I just wanna say how grateful I am for this league and the chance it gave me to play football again. I look forward to what the future holds for me individually and the league as a whole.#WeNotDoneYet
— Santi (@_JohnSantiago_) March 12, 2020
This is crazy….
— PJ Walker (@pjwalker_5) March 12, 2020
What a time! Thank you @XFLDefenders & @xfl2020 for the amazing opportunity. Thank you DC for having the BEST FANS in the XFL. Y’all had @AudiField rocking every game! Hopefully not the end of our season, but Stay safe & God bless! #ForTheLoveOfFootball #DefendTheDMV pic.twitter.com/sWSJKeaOhM
— Hunter Niswander (@HunterNiswander) March 12, 2020
It was truly amazing to be part of @xfl2020! It was a major success and this is such unfortunate timing. The players, coaches, and league should be incredibly proud of the product they provided. @VinceMcMahon doing right by the players is what true leadership is all about! https://t.co/lzi1DIaeGb
— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) March 13, 2020
— Taylor Russolino (@tgrussolino) March 12, 2020
We all went into the @xfl2020 season not knowing what to expect. I had no idea. I covered 5 games and LOVED IT. Loved the players, coaches, access … and the passion to play a game we all love. So many stories left to tell and look forward to doing it next season @XFLonFOX
— Jenny Taft (@JennyTaft) March 13, 2020