NCAA Football News and Notes: Positive Tests Not A Good Sign
While the NCAA football season is quickly approaching, there remain just as many questions as answers in terms as to how, or if, a season will commence. Still, the NCAA is planning to proceed as normal with a college season, but that does not mean that there aren’t concerns.
Let’s take a look at some of those concerns as well as other news from around the country in the world of college football.
Positive Tests A Big Red Flag Across Country
As the United States starts to see some of its major sports getting ready to return to play, there are concerns as both states and athletes have seen a major spike in positive tests. Unfortunately, college football has not been immune to those spikes either.
LSU, Kansas State and Clemson are just a few of the colleges that have reported positive cases. At Clemson, there have been 28 student-athletes in total, and, according to The Athletic, 23 of those cases come from the football program.
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Kansas State has actually gone as far as suspending their voluntary workouts as they have had 14 athletes test positive. For LSU, according to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, there have been at least 30 players who are currently being quarantined.
Regardless, one thing remains constant. The biggest opponent in the quest for normalcy in sports is the virus itself. If things cannot be maintained, it would not be shocking to see a disruption, if not a complete cancellation, to programs.
For the time being, though, we just remain hopeful that ultimately the pandemic releases its grip on the country, and we can see football and other sports return in the fall.
Mississippi State Running Back Planning To Hold Out
Most times in the world of sports, when you hear that a player is threatening a holdout, it is in regards to a contract dispute. While there are no contracts in college, that does not mean that a holdout can’t happen.
In the case of Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill, it is about social justice and the idea of representing the state of Mississippi that has him potentially holding out. Hill tweeted on social media that he won’t represent the state unless there is some type of change to the flag.
Mississippi infamously has the Confederate symbol on its flag, and as the country has been reassessing its statues and symbols in light of fights for racial equality, Hill is using his status on the team to help speak up for change.
New coach Mike Leach is supporting Hill using his voice (although he did not come out to necessarily support the change). For Mississippi State, Hill is a huge part of the offense. Of all returning players, he is the top rusher in the SEC.
Last season, Hill rushed 242 times for 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had 18 receptions for 180 yards and another score.
Despite his accolades on the field, Hill and others around the country are now trying to use their standings in their respective programs to help create positive change in our country.
West Virginia Coordinator Put On Leave
Another day, another example of a coach being insensitive to the backgrounds of his players. West Virginia has placed defensive coordinator Vic Koenning on administrative leave this week.
Kerry Martin Jr., a defensive back for West Virginia, took to social media with accusations against Koenning of insensitive comments ranging from Martin’s intelligence to discriminatory remarks covering both Martin’s religion and remarks about both immigrants and the current racial tensions/protests taking place in our country.
West Virginia is conducting an investigation into the allegations, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see Koenning’s days numbered at the university. Like Hill at Mississippi State, players are rightfully feeling more empowered to have a voice regarding how they are treated within their programs.