West Coast has been unjustifiably bullied when it comes to a college football season

Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger says that the football demise in California is greatly exaggerated and Pac-12 coaches agree.
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Several Pac-12 coaches have taken offense to the media prematurely eulogizing the 2020-2021 football season for schools in California. 

According to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, football’s demise in California has been “greatly exaggerated.”

“There’s a lot of gamesmanship that happens in the college football world that is very pointed at us out here on the West Coast, that we don’t love football, that we don’t play real football, how if we don’t do what the SEC is doing in the way the SEC is doing it, then we’re wrong,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said in an interview with Sports Illustrated on Wednesday. “The fact that we didn’t operate the same way as a state that is one-third the size of California, doesn’t mean that we don’t take this thing very seriously.

Through multiple interviews with coaches and athletic directors, Dellenger found schools targeting mid-June and early July to start football workouts. That’s not as far-fetched as it seemed just a few weeks ago. Most counties in California are in stage two or three of reopening.

The confusion might have come from the California State system announcing they would not have any in-person classes in the fall. None of the schools in the Pac-12 are part of the California State system.

On Tuesday, the Pac-12 said June 12 would be the earliest date schools could reopen facilities for their athletes.

CU-Boulder announced its plan to resume in-person classes in the fall. Under the new plan, students would return for class until thanksgiving, and move to online classes for the rest of the semester.

In that plan, the university’s working group says “athletics should work in parallel” with the university’s efforts and “in accordance with the requirements that emanate from NCAA, Pac-12, etc.”

Still, in Colorado, Governor Polis has not allowed gyms to reopen. It’s unclear whether that same ruling would apply to athletics because the University of Colorado is considered essential. Whenever the players are allowed to practice, the NCAA says football teams will need four to six weeks before the season.

Colorado, California, Oregon and Nevada created a pact to work together for “modifying the stay at home orders.” The states are expected to take similar measures for restarting athletic activities.