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Sandy Barbour: Spring Season Is A ‘Viable Option’ For Football, All Fall Sports

Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour met with the media Monday afternoon to discuss the state of Penn State Athletics in the wake of the Big Ten’s decision to postpone fall sports.

Barbour opened her press conference by reminding the Penn State community to stay safe and wear a mask. After that, the athletic director fielded several questions about the possibility of fall sports moving to the spring, specifically football.

While she understands the frustration from student-athletes and parents in the Big Ten’s decision, Barbour said she doesn’t see any scenario in which the conference changes their stance. Despite that, she sees a spring season as a definite possibility.

“I absolutely see a spring season being viable for football and all of our fall sports,” Barbour said. “All of our sports are going to depend where the virus is at this time. But to be honest with you, being who we are as athletic directors, we turned to that pretty quickly Tuesday afternoon and evening.”

Barbour went on to explain that Penn State Athletics is far down the road on “concepts” for playing sports in the spring.

If the Nittany Lions do find a way to move some sports to the spring, there’s no doubt that it would have a significant financial impact. Football would obviously play an important role in that impact as well.

“There will be some revenue for us should we play a spring season,” Barbour said. “That’s what we’re looking at right now, trying to look at what that [number] is.”

Along with football, Penn State women’s volleyball, field hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross country were all affected by the Big Ten’s ruling last week. Barbour included those sports in her discussion of planning spring seasons.

“There’s been some conversation there about how we would schedule facilities and how we would deal with those kinds of things,” Barbour said. “But in the main, those student-athletes are excited about an opportunity and the ability to play for something.”

The athletic director added that those fall programs are already planning on how they’ll use the fall as a true off-season of “player development.”

Outside of plenty of scheduling headaches, a serious issue concerning a spring season is its proximity to fall 2021. Barbour noted that during her press conference, and explained that Penn State’s sports medicine staff will direct programs to have less intense practices in the spring.

Barbour added that Penn State Athletics will be guided by its sports science and medicine staffs throughout this unprecedented process.

While planning will continue and changes will likely be made for all of Penn State’s teams throughout these next few months, plans could be released for spring seasons in the near future. Barbour added that fans will have an idea of the concepts surrounding a spring football season soon.

“I don’t think we’re going to have it all done, but I do believe that we are looking at releasing the concepts around it and what we’re working towards in the next week or so,” Barbour said.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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