Greg Bryne Gives July Deadline on Football Decisions
According to Mike Rodak of AL.com, Alabama Athletic Director Greg Byrne told a group of season ticket-holders this evening that plans for the upcoming football season would need to be in place by the final week in June or the first week in July. That give the athletic director seven weeks to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has developed and decide how football season will be handled.
Coach Nick Saban recently told ESPN radio that he would like a four-week period prior to fall camp to hold a non-contact teaching and conditioning program to ensure his players are ready for fall camp. With the season scheduled to get underway September 5 and fall camp tentatively planned for the first week in August, Saban would like to have his team back in Tuscaloosa, exercising around July 6.
Byrne told the group that at the moment the athletic department is planning on having Bryant-Denny Stadium full this fall but are looking at other alternatives behind closed doors. Byrne suggested there is a possibility all fans could be required to wear masks in order to attend games this coming fall but stated there has been no hard and fast decisions on the matter. He revealed that he and another A.D. recently spoke about the photo of the Georgia Tech football game in 1918 during the Spanish Flu in which all fans were wearing masks and said that might be the route they choose to take.
Byrne was asked if there was talk of limited capacity at Bryant-Denny Stadium and he admitted there have been discussions but he did not have an answer on who would be allowed into the stadium should the capacity need to be reduced to comply with social distancing.
Rodak went reported that Byrne talked about season tickets and said that should the season be shortened the athletic department would handle refunding the value of the tickets for games not played.
There has been speculation on what might happen if some schools and conferences are ready for the season but others are not. Rodak reported that Byrne addressed that to his audience detailing meetings that SEC commissioner Greg Sankey was having daily with the other Power 5 commissioners. Byrne also talked about taking part in an NCAA football oversight committee call in which the schools were all attempting to get on the same page. Byrne ultimately said in the end he would need to make the best decision for the University of Alabama and its student athletes.
The athletic director gave several construction updates as well and stated that the Bryant-Denny project is currently moving along as scheduled. He stated they are still gathering revenue for the Phase II and Phase III part of the Crimson Standard project which would see an overhaul of Coleman Coliseum. Lastly he spoke about an overpass that will be built over the train tracks next to Coleman Coliseum, Byrne said the project would take a little over a year and that it was just getting underway.
Read Mike Rodak's article on AL.com for Greg Byrne's full quotes at tonight's town hall meeting with season ticket-holders and donors.