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The Next 60 Days Will Determine Fate of the 2020 College Football Season

Coronavirus Crisis and Sports: As the death toll continues to rise on May 1, look for college football officials to have a better feel about the 2020 season by July 1

There may be no bigger debate nationally than the one over when things should start inching their way back to normalcy as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

As of Friday afternoon, there were 1.1 million confirmed cases in the United States, with 64,742 deaths.

BamaCentral is a dedicated sports site, so we will not be weighing in on the political implications of whether communities should reopen, or when. But we're going to provide some examples of what's being argued and being done, so if you want to skip ahead a few paragraphs please go ahead.

In Alabama, there have been 7,019 confirmed cases, and 269 deaths. Tuscaloosa County has been extremely fortunate with just 201 confirmed cases, and one reported death so far. 

In comparison, the number of coronavirus cases in neighboring Georgia has surpassed 27,000 with nearly 1,000 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.

Out of 328.2 million people in the U.S., 6.3 million have been tested. 

Meanwhile:

• California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he is “days, not weeks” away from lifting some restrictions of the state’s stay-at-home order. 

• Arkansas will allow barber shops, hair salons, massage therapy, body art and medical spa service businesses to reopen Wednesday.

• More than 4,900 workers in meat and poultry processing facilities have contracted Covid-19 and at least 20 have died, according to a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report

• Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order today mandating the use of face coverings in the state, and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has locked down the city of Gallup.

• And this was not fake news in Michigan on Thursday. 

Experts say that in order to fully reopen we need the ability to perform approximately 5 million tests a day, plus track cases. Meanwhile, the Capitol’s attending physician said that they don't have enough tests to proactively check all 100 Senators when the chamber comes back in session on Monday. 

What this means is that we're still a long, long way from having 100,000 fans in the stands in places like Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

NASCAR is scheduled to make its return to racing without fans on May 17, at Darlington Raceway with the first of seven races over an 11-day span at two different race tracks throughout May. 

Major League Soccer announced today that players may begin to use outdoor team training facilities for individual workouts on Wednesday. 

ESPN reported that the NBA would need about 15,000 tests to resume its season, but commissioner Adam Silver doesn't want to be prioritized above healthcare workers and frontline staffers. However, it's not close to having a decision about when it might resume play. 

While there is optimism that the end of the NBA and NHL seasons will eventually happen, and that there will be a 2020 football season in some form, there's no rush to make any sort of determination about how, and when those things may occur. 

Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated touched upon it, writing that any decisions about moving the 2020 college football season should be a last resort, but we're not close to that point yet.

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“We will continue to depend on the health experts and their advice, but we are planning to play our fall sport seasons,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne tweeted last week. “It’s only April, and things have been changing week-by-week, so we still have time to better understand where we will be by September.”

Those looking for a timetable or deadline may want to circle July 1 on their calendars. By then, we'll have a much better idea of what's possible, like if students will be let back on campus for the fall semester. 

Horse racing 

After 125 seconds of racing and a 22-min delay for a ruling that elevated the runner-up to first, a garland of roses was laid last May across the Kentucky Derby winner’s shoulders. 

Then he all but disappeared.

Last year's controversial victor ran a rare course, straight from the winner's circle to pasture. On what should have been race week, Sports Illustrated asks: What happened to Country House?

House of Pain cover story, Sports Illustrated

Golf

The latest Coronavirus + Sports podcast features Danielle Kang, on how she's attempting to rebuild her golf form while in quarantine, and her campaign to help food banks.

Additionally, 2019 Female Athlete of the Year Dalilah Muhammad talks about mentoring young track & field stars. She's the 400m hurdles gold medalist and world record holder,

To listen/subscribe:

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1503391421
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5BWP4CkzC9cknBvc8MFSFj
RSS: https://feeds.megaphone.fm/siplussports

Did you notice?

• The Bulls’ ’90s reserves share their stories of being part of the dynasty

• What would a Warriors version of The Last Dance look like?

• Members of Congress aren’t impressed with what the NCAA had to say about athlete compensation.

• If the current NHL season doesn’t end until late this summer, Gary Bettman is open to starting next season as late as December.

The lighter side ... 

• A couple of Michigan football players from Columbus were working out on the campus of Ohio State, and the Buckeyes aren’t pleased

• CeeDee Lamb wanted to wear No. 10 but the Cowboys gave him 88, previously worn by Dez Bryant and Michael Irvin.

• In an interview with WFAN’s Boomer & Gio, Michael Jordan’s agent, David Falk said a company once asked for two hours of Jordan’s time, plus the right to use his name and likeness. In exchange, Jordan would get $100 million. He turned them down.

For more of SI's Hot Clicks.