Sideline View by Dale McKee
WAYNESBORO, Miss. (WTOK) - This past week the Southern California-Alabama tilt in Dallas was cancelled. The Big 10 and PAC-12 pulled the plug on all non-conference games this season. The Ivy League cancelled their whole season while BYU lost four games to Big Ten and Pac-10 opponents. Notre Dame lost three games as their games against Stanford, Wisconsin and Southern California were called off. The Irish and the USC football series dates back to 1926 except for three years during World War II. So do BYU and the Irish seek opponents from the SEC, ACC or Big 12 to replace those cancelled teams? What about the Dan Mullen Florida Gators? Will they have to drop Florida State but still have to play at far off Missouri? Will South Carolina not play Clemson, only 90 miles up the road from Columbia, but still have to play Missouri? What about non-power schools like New Mexico who is expected to receive $1.9 million from road games against Mississippi State and Southern California? How will the little guys like Liberty, Northern Arizona, Fresno State, Montana State and East Michigan make their football budgets in 2020? Most guarantee game contracts have so-called act of God clauses, providing some compensation when an uncontrollable event causes a cancellation. I truly believe football will be played this fall, but I’m just not sure of the start date or the number of games. Like the pandemic, it will be an evolving event.
Will teams have to cancel or forfeit games once the season kick offs? Will teams be without key players or coaches because of positive COVID-19 test results? Will all levels of football be moved to the spring months and spring sports be played in the fall? Early this week the Southeastern Conference and the Mississippi High School Activities Association wee to meet to determine several options or even decide to delay their final decision until later. One final question, how long can we wait for a final decision? Options are not always good things. No matter what course of action is taken, there will be plenty of people unhappy with the decisions.
The 14-team Mississippi JUCO football league announced earlier last week that they had reduced their season to an 8-game season, which would not begin until September 10. Now this past week, the National Junior College Athletic Association announced the plans to move JUCO football to the spring. The NJCAA Presidential Advisory Committee will meet this week to make a possible final decision.
The Mississippi Association of Coaches might have their all-star basketball games this Friday at Mississippi College. The four games will begin at noon with the 1A/2A/3A girls’ game followed by the boys’ game at 2:30 p.m. The 4A/5A/6A games will be played at 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The games will be live streamed on the MAC Network at mscoaches.com.
Odds & Ends
The USM basketball fans voted this week on their All-Decade Team. Present player LaDavius Draine led the fan vote. Two years ago, Draine was named the Sixth Player of the Year by C-USA. The 2011 Baily Howell Trophy winner Gary Flowers was also selected as was Neal Watson, Tyree Griffin and Cortez Edwards.
The San Diego Padres released former USM baseball great Brian Dozier this past weekend. Dozier played with the Word Champions Washington Nationals last year.
Former USM Golden Eagle wide receiver Quez Watkins, a sixth-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles, signed a four-year contract worth a projected $3.5 million with a signing bonus in the $160,000 range this past week.