What will college football look like during the coronavirus pandemic? The uncertainty has lingered since March. As we draw nearer to the planned start date in September, equipment rooms across the country are stocking up on a piece of plastic that could keep teams in the game.
“In my opinion, every single person on that sideline should be wearing a mask or a face shield,” NCAA chief medical officer Brian Hainline told The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach. “Every single person.”
The Schutt Splash Shield could ensure that every person on the field is wearing a face shield. The helmet creators quickly designed a two-piece visor that should prevent players from swapping sweat and spit.
— Schutt Sports (@schuttsports) June 15, 2020
I know what you’re probably thinking. How are they going to breath in that thing? Won’t it fog up? The product was tested by an Illinois semi-pro team in June and received overwhelmingly positive results.
— Schutt Sports (@schuttsports) June 18, 2020
So far more than 50 schools have already placed orders for the Schutt Splash Shield. If ordered in bulk, a three-back that covers just the bottoms cost $10. As domestic manufacturers, Schutt says they have “virtually unlimited capacity” to fill orders for football teams across the country.
Will it work for the Kentucky football team? The Wildcats currently wear Riddell helmets. In a statement to The Athletic, Riddell says, “We continue to explore options to further these efforts with COVID-19 in mind and will share developments when appropriate.”
As programs seek out safe options for football to return this fall, this new piece of equipment could be a game-changer.