Friends University forging ahead with 2020 football season
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Despite a late-July decision from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Council of Presidents to postpone fall sports championships until spring, Friends University is among teams in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) to move forward with plans to play this fall.
On July 31, the NAIA leadership’s decision to postpone the fall football championship to spring 2021 left the door open for NAIA conferences to compete in the fall if they so choose. This is how the KCAC is moving forward.
“We’re making the right decision Friends Assistant Football Coach Kwenn Murphy said. Friends is on track to start its season Sept. 12 at Kansas Wesleyan. Murphy said he believes playing in the upcoming season is the right choice because it’s what the players want.
“As long as the guidelines and everything is followed, the kids want to play, and we’re here to coach them,” Murphy said.
Friends University senior cornerback Drake Daymon said for many players, football is something on which they depend.
“Some kids really look forward to football, that’s what they wanna do,” he said. “And if that gets taken away, some kids might not come to school, some people might go to environments that are not as safe as Wichita.”
Murphy said not playing this season could also have a major financial impact on smaller colleges and universities.
“I mean, I could see why, financially, it might be a little different for those (NCAA-affiliated) colleges, because, you know, their enrollment is probably four, five, 10 times. For us at small colleges, athletics is, maybe not half our student body, but enough where the trickling effect will actually happen at this level,” he said.
Murphy said as long as athletes and staff do their part, the upcoming season should go on as scheduled.
“We still have to follow all the same guidelines, but 100 percent, like, we wanna go,” he said. “It’s up to the kids and they wanna go.”
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