EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – It’s a loaded question, one that nobody really has a good answer for at this point.
Will COVID-19 force football season in the fall to be cancelled or postponed?
Team across the nation, at the professional, collegiate and prep level, will be asking that for the duration of quarantine, however long it might last.
At UTEP and New Mexico State, though, they’re doing all they can right now: keeping a positive attitude.
“I think our country needs it just to get back and have that outlet of sports and the camaradery of sports. We need those things as a society,” said New Mexico State head coach Doug Martin.
Martin and UTEP head coach Dana Dimel were in lockstep on Thursday. They both think a college football season will be played in 2020, but they also know the decision either way will come from high above their heads.
“Our hope is that we can get back by the first week of June and get going,” Dimel said. But obviously, that’s got to be the directive from a national level and then it feeds down into the many different sectors.”
The vast majority of UTEP and NM State’s rosters are at home right now, doing what they can to stay in shape and using technology to keep in touch with their coaches.
“They’ve got to be disciplined enough to do it on their own and we challenge them every day to make sure they come back in great shape,” Martin said.
“We’re spending a lot of time doing position meetings with them over the different apps that we’re allowed to use where we can actually show tape to the players,” said Dimel.
When the call is made to allow large gatherings again, the coaches have the task of getting their players ready for games, a process that Dimel thinks could take over a month.
“We said we needed two weeks of OTA’s to get the guys ready and then four weeks of fall camp,” Dimel said. “It’s going to take time to get them back in shape.”
Until then, they’re using an old cliché coaches love so much, and taking things one day at a time.
“I think we have to just stay positive and stay in that mindset of ‘we’re going to play,’ so hopefully the players prepare better and are ready,” Martin said. “God forbid if something happens and we don’t get this under control and we can’t play, then we’ll deal with that at that time.”