Athletic director Mike Bohn said USC football has “every intention” of playing Alabama in the season opener after reports of a possible replacement.
USC football’s season opener against Alabama will happen if Mike Bohn can help it.
The Trojan athletic director took to Twitter on Tuesday to put fans’ fears at ease after a report from Paul Finebaum of ESPN suggested that Alabama was scoping out the possibility of TCU replacing USC.
“I enjoy regular conversations with [Alabama AD Greg Byrne],” Bohn said. “We have every intention of playing our game against Alabama.
“I’d like to remind all our fans that this is an uncertain time and there will be much disinformation. We continue to explore every model for the 2020 football season.”
There was similar messaging coming from the other two schools involved.
Alabama AD Greg Byrne told Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News, “Our plan is to play USC.”
TCU’s AD Jeremiah Donati also put the damper on the report, telling the Star-Press Telegram that his football program is “preparing to play Cal in Week 1.”
“If we determine at some point that we cannot do so, we’ll look at other options,” he added.
The problem for Bohn, Byrne and Donati is they don’t control the coronavirus. They may intend to play the season as scheduled but intentions only mean so much when you’re dealing with a global health crisis.
The Pac-12 has discussed playing a season with conference games only. Meanwhile, on Tuesday NCAA president Mark Emmert said he doesn’t expect there to be a uniform return date for college athletics.
That would mean potentially having Alabama’s season kickoff on Sept. 5 while USC’s is delayed until Oct. 5.
Contingency plans will have to be formed, even if athletic directors aren’t ready to say so publically.