Paul Finebaum reacts to the SEC's decision to push back the start of the season
Paul Finebaum wasn’t surprised by the SEC’s decision to push back the start of the upcoming college football season but he was surprised by just how far back the league pushed its pending start date for the 2020 season.
That was the reaction shared by the SEC Network host during his most recent weekly appearance on Birmingham-based WJOX 94.5 FM radio show “The Roundtable,” on Monday.
When asked about the league’s decision late last week to shift toward a conference-only, 10-game schedule, Finebaum shared his take on the decision.
“I think the most significant part of the SEC announcement was the timing, the date. No one saw September 26 as the start of the season,” Finebaum said on the show. “Really going back six weeks, you started hearing the 19th as a day. Let’s start two weeks late, that way we can make the non-conference games easier. We don’t have to pay the Charlotte’s of the world a million and a half dollars to play in an empty Neyland Stadium.
“But that really surprised me and that told me, and of course, the commissioner said it as well, that presidents are concerned about students coming back on campus. Now, students are essential to the college football season, so they’re coming back on campus. They’re essential to the schools pocketing money and tuition, but they want to see, I believe, how does the student population work? And do we see serious outbreaks? Do we see minimal outbreaks? And how does that trickle down to the college football players? And I think they also secondarily want to see how the NFL starts off, which would start by Week 2 of the college football season.”
Finebaum then followed up that comment by noting that just because the SEC has made a decision on the upcoming start date, that by no means guarantees the season will eventually start.
“And it to me, it’s a very cautious, it’s a very cautious announcement,” Finebaum added. “It’s also a blinking light that this season is not guaranteed. And a week ago, I really was convinced that we would get started – maybe not on time, but within reason. This gives them a lot of time to take a good long look at what’s happening around the country.”