A letter from football coach Tom Allen to parents of his players outlines the program’s plans for going back to work in preparation for the 2020 season.
Allen wrote in part, “Currently, we are seeking to begin team activities early-to-mid June…we have been advised to bring players back in three phases. Each phase will include a specific number of players, based on the stipulations of medical professionals.”
Players will only be allowed to work with strength staff as they begin to come back to Bloomington.
Allen emphasizes in the letter that safety is the top priority, “The health and well-being of our players is our number one priority. Even though this current situation has created a lot of anxiety and many unanswered questions, I strongly believe that we have developed a comprehensive plan to systematically return our team to campus.”
Academic work will be virtual and continue to be important for a variety of reasons, one mentioned by Allen is pragmatic and obvious, “It is especially important that our players continue to focus on their academics throughout the summer terms in order to remain eligible in the (f)all.”
And, of course, the letter is signed “Tom Allen #LEO.”
These are strange times for college football programs. All are trying to protect the health of players, coaches, and support staff, but also want to assess the environment to find competitive advantages. Every coach knows that if he doesn’t find the right combination of tactics to prepare his team just a little bit better than conference peers, his team will fail this fall.
One of the tired quotes of the Coronavirus era is, “Never waste a crisis,” but it’s appropriate as we look ahead to the 2020 college football season. A program like Indiana’s has a chance to level the playing field during a bizarre offseason like this through exactly the right combination of aggressive preparation and strict safety protocols.
That work will begin in “early to mid-June.”