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Mark Stoops “hopeful” for football season, believes games without fans is a “possibility”

As the remainder of winter sports, along with the majority of spring and summer competition on all levels being either postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky football head coach Mark Stoops remains “hopeful” that his sport won’t be next on the list.

In an appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio this morning, Stoops said that while he’s not one to make predictions and wants to leave it up to the experts, he’s still optimistic a football season will be played this year.

“I’m hopeful about that. I’m just hopeful on it,” he said. “Again, you have to sit back and think about it, you know? If you’re the governor or these people making decisions for their state, do you want to pack in 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 thousand people in a stadium in the fall? And have everything wide open? That is a lot to think about. For the healthcare professionals, the experts, they’ll need to see where it’s at. I think we all need to stay away from making those predictions. I’m staying hopeful we’ll be back.”

The reasoning? Football is needed to help support other sports on campus in athletic departments across the country. Things might be strange for a while when the dust settles, but Stoops is hopeful they’ll find a way to make a season work due to the revenue football brings in and how it helps keep other sports afloat.

“We need to understand, pre-coronavirus, I don’t know if things are going to be absolutely normal like they were for a while,” he said. “But I do think football needs to be played, a lot of people are counting on it. Universities, athletic departments, I can’t even imagine what things would look like if we do not play a football season because of how many sports it supports. That’s why we’re hopeful a football season is played in some way, shape, or form. What that looks like? I don’t know.”

Could that include a set number of games or an entire season played without fans in the stands?

“I think that’s a possibility, I really do,” Stoops said. “I think that would be very strange. Basketball talked about doing it that way at the end of their season [before postseason play was canceled], and if that’s what we do, that’ll be very, very strange. But I think it is a possibility.”

Again, Stoops stressed that decisions like these are “above [his] pay-grade,” but that he’d be in support of a fan-less environment if it meant games are still played.

After all, fans will still be “glued to the TV” at home, thus allowing for media revenue.

“I try to stay in my lane, I try not to make bold predictions. I try to let healthcare professionals make the calls, let Mitch [Barnhart], let President [Eli Capilouto], people like that, let them make good decisions,” Stoops sad. “But if we are playing games with no fans, there are a heck of a lot of fans that’ll be glued to the TV watching those games, won’t they?”

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

6 Comments for Mark Stoops “hopeful” for football season, believes games without fans is a “possibility”

  1. bigbluebg
    3:55 pm April 9, 2020 Permalink

    Mark Stoops says “we need to stay away from making those predictions”, then immediately makes a prediction…he’s hopeful we’ll have football this fall.

    I get what he’s saying, wait until we have better info/data to make an informed decision. Reads funny tho.

    • ClutchCargo
      4:01 pm April 9, 2020 Permalink

      It was a comment he made on the show this morning. It makes more sense when you hear him answer the specific question that he was asked: are you confident or just hopeful that football will be played this fall?

    • bkeith75
      4:22 pm April 9, 2020 Permalink

      I don’t think “Hopeful” constitutes a prediction.

    • bigbluebg
      8:30 pm April 9, 2020 Permalink

      It’s definitely a prediction and/or speculation. It’s exactly what said we should not do the sentence before. Words like maybe, probably, likely, and even hopefully are giving some assumed approximate prediction(s) of future event(s).

      How you gone come up’n hurr actin’ like that ain’t a prediction? Bruh, ain’t no sports, you done already watched errything on hulu, netflix, disney+, hell you even bought HBO just to hear that Christian Dawkins documentary of him making excuses for 2 hours as to why he’s called a cheater…so DONT BRING THAT WEAK COMMENT INTO MY HOUSE!

      You “don’t think ‘Hopeful’ constitutes a prediction”.
      Psssssh, WRONG!

    • bkeith75
      12:46 am April 10, 2020 Permalink

      Based on your theory that hopeful and predicting are one in the same, I am hopeful I win the Powerball this weekend.

  2. zoupman
    4:13 pm April 9, 2020 Permalink

    This is like when you guys try to post brackets in Dec. Way too early to know what’s going to happen.