Reports: Big 12 plans to play football this fall

Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 7:55 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Reports from the world of college football indicate the Big 12 will be among the power conferences planning to forge ahead with plans to play this fall.

Yahoo Sports college football and basketball reporter Pete Thamel said “a schedule, which was already prepared, will be released in the near future.”

The information from Thamel’s sources confirms a previous report from Oklahoma Rivals site, Sooner Scoop. The reports from the Big 12 follow news earlier Tuesday that the Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences won’t play football this fall due to concerns about COVID-19.

This could open the door for the Big 12 Conference to expand for a season, bringing on teams from other conferences that won’t be playing.

At least for now, the SEC and ACC are also expected to push ahead with the fall season.

Earlier Tuesday, Eyewitness News spoke with Kansas State Head Football Coach Chris Klieman about the last few weeks and why his team is among those wanting to play this fall.

At the start of Tuesday, players at Kansas State and the rest of the Big 12 weren’t sure if they would have a football season. Klieman said the wait with no answers has been difficult.

“All the uncertainty and the mental strain that they have on them, the added anxiety of not having a lot of answers,” he said.

K-State senior quarterback Skylar Thompson echoed his coach in saying clarity is something they need.

“I want everyone to be safe and I’m obviously not oblivious to what is going on, but it would be nice to have some answers,” Thompson said.

Some of those answers came in Tuesday night’s report that the Big 12 is expected to proceed with fall sports, a move opposite of the Big 10 and the Pac-12.

‘We’ve been preparing like we are going to play September 5 or September 12 or whatever that date is,” Thompson said. “We are just going to continue to prepare and continue to be great as a team.”

Part of the preparation for if and when the season does kick off will be the continued approach to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19. In June, the K-State football program shut down its team workouts after an outbreak among players.

Klieman said since then, players have been more cautious in the locker room and away from team facilities.

“I think that was a blessing in disguise because that was in June,” he said.

Regardless of when the Wildcats kick off, Klieman said keeping players in Manhattan ahead of the season is one of the most important things the university can do.

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