LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - As Southland Conference media day approaches, questions on whether there will be a college football season and what it will look like is circulating around Southwest Louisiana.
For McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel, he is positive football will be back for the 2020 season.
“We’re going to have football in our mind,” Burckel said. “We’re going to have it until we are told ‘no.' For us, it’s ‘yes,’ until it’s ‘no.' That’s out of our hands. If we’re asked, we want to play football. We think we can do it safely.”
Multiple football seasons have already been affected by the coronavirus, including some power five schools moving to a conference-only schedule. Non-conference games are the money makers for FCS schools. McNeese’s games are right down the road in Lafayette.
“I don’t understand not playing non-conference games,” Burckel said. “Because what, it’s okay for Wisconsin to travel to Iowa to play a game, but not okay for Northern Iowa to travel to Iowa to play a game? That doesn’t make sense to me.”
Burckel said he supports whatever plan that will allow schools to play football, whether it be in the fall or the spring, like the SWAC.
“If we don’t play, I hope we delay,” Burckel said. “Even if we start in January or February we need to get a season in. I think all colleges need to get a football season in. I think everyone recognizes that.”
Moving forward, precautions need to be put in place, which Dr. Burckel said McNeese has done. Burckel said he and his staff believe they have options.
“Our plan is to have an area where people can social distance if they choose to,” Burckel said. “If some fans are comfortable with crowded stands, there will be one side with that - and the other side will be people social distancing. So, we think we can accommodate both with our facilities.”