Alabama Football: What to expect for the spring and summer

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The shutting down of all Alabama football activity could last a few weeks, several weeks or longer. Bama Hammer reviews what might happen.

Life in Tuscaloosa, including Alabama football, may return to normal soon. The Coronavirus situation could stabilize in weeks or it could turn worse, maybe much worse. Listening to health professionals across the nation and the world can be frightening.

In some cases, the low end of their projected range of cases and mortality surpasses a bad flu year by a factor of four or five. That is not good, but it is not catastrophic, The high end of some projections is almost beyond comprehension.

Choosing optimism over gloom and doom is advisable. Harsh realities can sometimes block points of optimism. Two guys who have followed college football for a long time shared some possible Alabama football realities. They are Kirk McNair of 247Sports and Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.

Neither man has a crystal ball. They discussed what ‘might’ happen rather than claiming what ‘will’ happen. The highlights of their opinions are listed below and, for what it is worth, my thoughts on each point.

Kirk McNair

McNair points out the spring academic calendar will end in Tuscaloosa on April 24. Final exams will be over the following week. Given the current suspension of football activity, McNair believes,

"That possibly – maybe probably — eliminates any chance for spring football practice."

No spring football practice would eliminate the purpose of a public scrimmage like the A-Day game. If however, a reduced spring practice schedule could commence in mid-April, it is possible a closing scrimmage might take place in May. McNair commented on that possibility.

"Considering the emphasis on avoiding crowds and close contact with others, would the game be played in an empty stadium, or even “just like another practice” on one of the practice fields?"

Considering potential growth in Coronavirus cases, the empty stadium or practice field options seem the most likely. That is if there is a game at all.

Dennis Dodd

Dodd points out the potential loss of a spring game is not a big deal, Some schools were already not planning on having them. Dodd points out a bigger question only the NCAA can answer.

"Will coaches be allowed to be involved with instruction at this time if there is no spring football practice, limiting their preparation for the season?"

Dodd also points out a potentially big adjustment in recruiting and impact on the transfer portal.

"from April 15 through May 31, assistant coaches fan out across the country for the heart of the recruiting process. Spring is a big evaluation period."

If travel is curtailed or possibly eliminated, recruiting will suffer. As Dodd sees it, such a change would be disruptive to relationship building and assessing players beyond their physical talents.

"It will be hard to judge a prospect’s character on Skype."

A similar impact could change the dynamics of the transfer portal. Most player exits from teams come after spring practice when it becomes obvious fall, playing time will be limited. Dodd even asks a tougher question.

"transfers have to assimilate, move, meet their teammates. More importantly, enroll and attend summer school. Will there even be summer school this year?"

There are no clear answers. Not everyone may agree, but every question or circumstance posed by McNair and Dodd has merit. I (and I am sure they) nevertheless, choose optimism. There will be a return to normalcy at some point. Alabama football will continue and thrive. None of us knows when the return will happen.

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Until the return of Alabama football and other Crimson Tide sports, stay connected with Bama Hammer. We will keep providing information and sharing our opinions. RTR Forever!