Football

Texas Tech Football Notebook: Big 12 to Play; Wells Says Players are Relieved; New Schedule

It’s a new schedule.

Well, we’re officially on for football.

Deep breathe.

* ESPN’s Sam Kahn and Heather Dinich recap the press conference that Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby held yesterday morning. Bowlsby said that he’s got sufficient information to make this decision to continue the process of playing football:

“For the most part I have better information and my presidents have better information than most of our friends in the fourth estate,” Bowlsby said, referring to the media. “Reasonable people can disagree on it. The Pac-12 and the Big Ten are seeing much of the same information that we’re seeing. But our board believes in our scientists and has come to a conclusion that is different and so have the leadership of the SEC and the ACC.”

Bowlsby also said that Nebraska is not in the Big 12’s plans and yeah, any thought of that was a pipe dream. There are contracts that are binding, so that’s just not going to happen.

* SI’s Ross Dellenger wonders if the Big 12 is just delaying the inevitable and the discussion leading up to the decision wasn’t easy:

Before their presidents OK’ed to continue the season, Big 12 athletic directors got briefed for 90 minutes by a medical panel, which led to vigorous debate. Some thought it too unsafe. Others thought it safe enough. It was a back-and-forth between administrators, all the while with the season somewhat on the line. The decision among Big 12 leaders came down to ramifications of not playing a season (player mental health, structure, etc.) vs. uncertain risks of playing a season.

* SI’s Pat Forde considers the scenario that I’ve painted the last few days, but he actually talked to a plaintiff and NCAA attorney Tom Mars:

But for those pressing forward to play, heed one warning: The lawyers will be circling. Not the ones counseling conferences to avoid trifling with players’ health, but the ones who will be doing the suing if, God forbid, a player dies, has long-term damage or career-threatening complications. In an email to Sports Illustrated, prominent college sports attorney Tom Mars offered this chilling view of what the Big 12, ACC and SEC could be getting into:

“Whatever conference(s) decides to play football this fall will be taking a ridiculously high risk they may soon regret. I know and have talked with some of the best plaintiff’s lawyers in the country this week, and they’re praying the SEC, Big 12 and/or the ACC are greedy enough to stay the course. If things go sideways, the plaintiff’s Bar will immediately get their hands on the internal financial analyses of the schools (a FOIA layup), get the conference financials through the discovery process, and then just stand in front of the jurors and point to the conferences that decided not to risk the health of their student-athletes. Good Lord, I’d hate to be the lawyers defending those cases.”

And the attorneys lining up to represent plaintiffs? “These are lawyers who’ve already slain bigger dragons than the SEC, and they can afford to finance the most expensive litigation on the planet. As a coalition, they’d be the legal equivalent of the Death Star.”

This is a real scenario and it is one that I’ve told you is the reason why these conferences would not play. It’s not the player safety, it is the lawsuits. And I’m not a trial attorney, I’ve never sued a person in my life and don’t intend on doing that. That’s not part of my practice, but I can still recognize a potential cause of action, the damages, and potential for liability. It’s not rocket science and if I can recognize it, then it makes sense that a bunch of plaintiff attorneys recognize it.

If a player dies, this will absolutely happen and it will be devastating to the program that it happens to. And in no way am I advocating for this to happen. It would be devastating. So if you say your prayers every night, then say that everyone stays safe.

Press conference with head coach Matt Wells where he said that he found out that the Big 12 decided to continue from his daughter off of Twitter. What a world. Wells does say that the players are excited and I would imagine that they are.

Wells also talks about Tommy McVay, was the first person he met in the facility. McVay made a huge impact on the entire community and that’s the truth. Wells asked that McVay stick around and help him with the boosters and the community.

There wasn’t a ton of football talk or questions, more or less about getting off the ground and playing football.

The new schedule is released and the only thing I don’t see are the two playoff games that need to be fit in there somewhere. In all seriousness, its fine. At this point, I don’t think we need to be worried about what happens in December or whenever. The schedule is built in with some bye weeks on purpose, 2 weeks between the non-conference and start of conference play is required I think and then there will be 3 conference games, a bye, 4 conference games, a bye, and hten the final 2 games.

Date Opponent
September 12th Houston Baptist
September 26th Texas
October 3rd at Kansas State
October 10th at Iowa State
October 24th West Virginia
October 31st Oklahoma
November 7th at TCU
November 14th Baylor
November 28th at Oklahoma State
December 5th Kansas

Last, but not least. It is my understanding that Tommy McVay’s surgery was not successful and the family wrote on Facebook that they would be facing a difficult decision. This would still be a time to think a good thought or offer a prayer for McVay, his family, and his loved ones.

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