Utah players and coaches with mixed emotions over canceled fall season
Following the Pac-12 CEO meeting on Tuesday afternoon, conference officials decided that there would be no fall sports season for 2020 — and that there will no athletics of any kind taking place before Jan. 1, 2021.
“The health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports has been our number one priority since the start of this current crisis,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. “Our student-athletes, fans, staff and all those who love college sports would like to have seen the season played this calendar year as originally planned, and we know how disappointing this is.”
This effects all of Utah's fall sports; football, women's soccer, volleyball and cross country/track and field as well as men's and women's basketball.
It's safe to say that Utah's athletes didn't take kindly to the announcement that there would be no fall season — or that it may be pushed back to the spring.
Leading the charge regarding their feelings and emotions were two leaders in the football locker room; quarterback Jake Bentley and offensive lineman Nick Ford.
Bentley, who is arguably affected more than any player on the Utes, took the high road when finding out about the news.
Meanwhile, Ford was clearly unhappy with the decision, not only taking to Twitter to voice his displeasure but spoke on with KSL radio about his strong admiration for the Utah medical personnel and his dislike for Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.
"I have no respect for Larry Scott. ... I personally I don't think he truly wanted to give us the time of day," Ford said during the broadcast.
Devin Brumfield and Jordan Wilmore are two running backs locked in a tough battle for the right to replace Utah's all-time rusher in Zack Moss. Both players were unhappy regarding the cancellation of their upcoming season and made it known.
Beth Launiere, Utah's volleyball coach, also took to Twitter to release a statement on behalf of the program. She expressed disappointment at the decision but reiterated how important the safety and health of her players were.
Women's soccer coach Rich Manning expressed admiration for the Utah athletic department for keeping the players and coach safe during this trying time and can't wait to get back out on the field.
Utah track and field/cross country Kyle Kepler was also disappointed in the news but said that his team will continue to train and practice for whatever comes next for the Utes.
Finally, Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham released a statement following the breaking news...
“We’ve known for some time that this was a possibility, however, it is still disappointing news for our program, our fans and especially for our student-athletes,” Whittingham said. “We respect the guidance of the Pac-12 Medical Advisory Committee and the decision made today by the Pac-12 CEO group, and we will continue to put our focus on our player’s academics and their development. Our No. 1 priority is always the well-being of our players, and their health and safety come first.”
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