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-by Sammy Jacobs, Contributing Writer; Image: Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen. (Image Source: Taetsch/Getty Images)
Bloomington, IN—Indiana Hoosiers head football coach Tom Allen provided an update on the status of his football team amid the COVID-19 Pandemic during a conference call with members of the media on Tuesday afternoon.
“As far as we know right now, everyone is healthy. No one has contracted the virus that we know of. We've not done specific testing on our guys” Allen told reporters. The Hoosiers spring practice session was canceled after just four (of 15) practices.
With campus closed and players scattered across the country, Allen held a virtual team meeting on Sunday night in which he reminded the Hoosiers they don’t blink.
“I challenged them, and I said, Hey, the bottom line is this: They just canceled spring ball; we don't blink. They just canceled classes in person for the rest of the year; we don't blink. We just recently shut down weight rooms; we can't be on our facility here; we aren't going to blink. Then we get a state order that says you can't even go to a gym; we don't blink. We're going to be doing things in our garages and basements and wherever they have access to” Allen told his squad.
When times are tough, and these are tough times, those who adapt the best will be the most successful and that includes college football. Allen said the program’s “number one objective is to make sure that they're in the best place for them to be safe and healthy and so that their parents feel good about that and that they're in a good spot.”
So how is Indiana adapting to this ‘distance coaching’? “We basically did an inventory on Monday with our guys to make sure they had the technology that they're going to need to be successful academically once classes begin here again soon and also the technology with either iPad, cell phones and laptops to be able to continue to develop them physically and mentally, as well, within our program's progress,” Allen said of trying to keep his players in football shape and up-to-date with the online classes that are still being held by IU.
With the postponement of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and the cancelation of the NCAA Tournament the lingering question on everyone’s mind is, will there be a 2020 college football season?
I asked Allen how much time would he and the coaching staff need to get a program ready for a full 12-game season.
“As long as we can have June and July to get our players ready, I think that's enough time,” Allen said bluntly.
“The unknowns are at a high number right now. I guess, though, in my mind, when you think about our calendar and if I had to just say what you would ideally like to have, you'd like to have June and July,” Allen explained, “the month of May has always been a discretionary month for us. It's not mandatory lifting for our guys, so that helps in a variety of methods during that month. And then when you get into April after spring ball is over, there's a lot of focus on academics and final exams and all that preparation as the coaches are usually out recruiting.”
There is still so much that needs to be figured out in terms of COVID-19 before the college football season is even on the horizon, however, for now, the IU football program is healthy and adapting to the situation to get ready for another run at a bowl berth in 2020.
To read more from Sammy Jacobs and his staff at HoosierHuddle.com, click here.
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