LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In an ideal world, the University of Louisville football team would assemble for its first practice for the 2020 season Aug. 4.
The players would strap on pads and start hitting several days later.
They would kickoff the season on the evening of Sept. 2 when North Carolina State visited Cardinal Stadium.
The Cardinals would play all 12 games on their schedule, putting an exclamation point on 2020 with a trip to Notre Dame on Nov. 21, followed by a visit from Kentucky Nov. 28.
There is nothing ideal about this football season.
There hasn’t been since March 12 when spring practice was shut down because of concerns about the novel coronavirus, concerns that are likely to delay the start of the season and eliminate games.
Louisville coach Scott Satterfield does not have a vote on how the Atlantic Coast Conference season will unfold. ACC commissioner John Swofford said he will make that decision by the end of the July.
Swofford does not have to wonder about Satterfield’s views on several pressing topics. Fifteen days before his team’s practice is scheduled to begin, Satterfield discussed the risks of playing or not playing, how he has asked his team to handle the uncertainty, the possible elimination of Kentucky game and other topics during a teleconference Monday afternoon.
Here are the highlights:
*Satterfield respects the virus and the health risks associated with it, but he argued there are also risks for players if college football is shut down.
“I think we all feel like we’ve got some sort of knowledge on this, probably enough to be dangerous, all of us ...,” Satterfield said.
“... I feel very comfortable while (the players) are here. Where I don’t feel as comfortable is when the guys are out, just living life like everybody else.
“If that is the way that you kind of figure all this stuff out, then to me, you want them over here more than you want them out there, right?
“I know there is obviously a big debate: Should you go to school? Should you practice? Should you play? Should you do all these things?
“Here’s what I do know: Everybody is going to live life. And if I’m not participating in sports and I’m an athlete, what am I going to do?
“I worry about their mental health. I worry about that side of it … I can tell you, you can go to high school kids, junior high kids, if they’re involved in sports, that’s what they love to do. That’s what they want to do.
“If they’re not doing sports, what are they doing? They’re going to have to occupy and fill time, that space doing something. I think they’re going to be out and about and carrying on like they always would and maybe pick up the virus that way …
“... When they’re occupying their time, doing what they love to do as athletes and being over here (at the football complex) we have the protocols set in place … I think, mentally, they’re in such a better place when they’re here training and playing ball. So I worry more about not playing than I do playing.”
*Louisville will proceed as planned — until the ACC announces it is time to audible.
“We don’t know exactly when we’re going to start right now,” Satterfield said. “We’re planning on the day that we have, Sept. 2, until something changes.
“It’s the same thing that we tell our players. You control what you can control. Right now, for us, it’s doing our workouts on a daily basis ... doing the things we need to do to get ready and prepared for when we do start.
“If they do push it back, we always can adjust that. That’s going to be easy.”
*Satterfield picked Aug. 4 to start practice but flexibility is critical.
“We’ve got a plan to start on that Aug. 4 date, but we can adjust to whenever we need to, if we need to whenever (the ACC) comes out with an announcement,” Satterfield said.
*Satterfield is aware the Big Ten and Pac-12 have announced their league schools will only play conference opponents. He said if the ACC switched to a conference-only plan, he hoped the Nov. 28 game with Kentucky would be played.
“We obviously want to play that football game, there’s no question about it ...” Satterfield said.
“... great rivalry game, one that we look forward to every single year … if our schedule does get tweaked a little bit and you play some conference games, you hope to be able to squeeze in another game and play the guys down in Lexington … we’re like everybody else, kind of sitting, wait and see ...
“... it would certainly not be surprising if we were playing mostly conference games.”
*The entire team has not returned for voluntary workouts. Satterfield said the players returned in three groups. He said “87 or 88” players were working out with their teammates in small groups.
He said the last 20 or so players were members of the scout team.
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