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NFL's Reopening Plans Give Strong Hints About What The College Game May Try To Do

The Coronavirus Crisis and Sports for May, 12, 2020, and the best of Sports Illustrated

College football fans who are wondering about how all the issues can be worked out to possibly play in fall may want to start keeping an eye with what's going with the National Football League as it works through some of the same issues. 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently sent a memo to all 32 teams detailing the league's initial plans moving forward and what each facility will need to do before they can possibly reopen. 

"This first phase is not going to include players outside of guys who are going in for regular rehab sort of work,"  MMQB senior writer Albert Breer said. "And so what you're going to see, I think, is maybe some non-football employees going in, maybe some coaches, maybe some scouts."

That's still roughly 75 people being let back into the building to work, many in close proximity.

Right now most football facilities around the nation, including at Alabama, only allow a skeleton group of people to get inside the door. 

Goodell had previously mentioned that no teams will be able to begin on-field activities until every team facility is safe to do so even though some local laws are different about what can and can't be done. 

Consequently, some NFL teams are exploring new training camp sites in states less restricted due to COVID-19, including at some colleges. 

Breer also noted that there is being an effort made to have both the NFL and college seasons played at the same time. One of the main sticking points with that is the pro game gets most of its revenue through TV, while the colleges are much more dependent on attendance. 

"Pretty much every NFL person I’ve talked to on this subject has mentioned a desire to keep the pro football season synced up with college football, since so many important offseason events at the pro level are tied directly to the college level," Breer wrote. "To that end, one thing that NFL teams have heard is the college season could start Oct. 1, with each school’s non-conference schedule eliminated (one hang-up is the money the mid-majors would lose in this happening). If that happens, it at least cracks the door a little further for the NFL to consider moving its start date back too."

Jordan Playing Baseball in Birmingham

Area baseball fans well remember when Michael Jordan played the 1994 season with the Birmingham Barons, the Double-A minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

He batted .202 with three home runs, 51 runs batted in, 30 stolen bases, 114 strikeouts, 51 base on balls and 11 errors.

Do you know who else in the White Sox system has had as many RBIs, walks and stolen bases over the past four years? No one. 

"If you gave (Michael Jordan) three years—1,500 at-bats—he could find his way to the big leagues," Terry Francona says.

Sandy Alderson was the general manager of the Oakland A's and he offered Jordan a major league contract. He'd be on the opening day roster as part of the 25-man team. Jordan wasn't interested. He wanted to play for the White Sox, but he also wanted to earn his major league spot. 

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci noted that's it’s worth remembering what Jordan did for baseball, and revisits everything – including the "Bag It Michael!" cover story – that shaped Michael Jordan's time in baseball.

Meanwhile, if you're one of those people who can't get enough of the last dance, here are a number of items to hold you over until the final episodes:

Michael Jordan Shows Vulnerability in Latest Episodes of 'The Last Dance'

Which Team was Better: Michael Jordan Bulls or Kevin Durant Warriors?

Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman Deserve More Credit for Bulls Championship Success

• Confident Teen Describes How to Stop Michael Jordan After 1994 Pickup Game

Michael Jordan's Leadership Style isn't for Everybody


After being the first wide receiver taken in the 2020 draft, oddsmakers have the Henry Ruggs III's touchdown total at 4.5 this season. 

Corey Parson and Jaime Eisner break down how they would bet Ruggs touchdown total. Both call it tricky.

Did you notice?

• Sports Illustrated revisited another prominent cover story, Isaiah Lamb. Six years ago, SI Senior Enterprise Writer L. Jon Wertheim published a cover story exploring the stories of three homeless athletes in America. One of the athletes featured, Lamb, went onto a college scholarship and now a basketball career playing overseas in Armenia. Wertheim caught up with Lamb to see how his life has changed since he was forced to sleep in a car in Maryland parking lots as a child.

• Report: If NBA Season Resumes, No Fans Expected to Attend Games, Silver Says

• MLB owners have approved a plan to start the season, but Scott Boras thinks the players should reject it

• The Premier League’s planned restart is still rife with complications

The lighter side

• Former Titans executive Steve Underwood, who went viral for his wild facial hair, spoke with the Houston Chronicle about his unexpected stardom.

• When Rob Gronkowski was scared about doing a stunt at WrestleMania, Vince McMahon reportedly did it himself to show it was safe.

• Speaking of lighter, this is CC Sabathia ... seriously, it is: 

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