Wake Forest spring football practice

Coach Dave Clawson said "it's too early to tell" if the 2020 football season will start on time. 

There’s no timetable for when things will begin to look normal in the sports landscape — and that stretches into whether the college football season will start on time.

“It’s too early to tell,” Coach Dave Clawson of Wake Forest said when asked if he expects the season to begin on schedule. “Right now, nothing would surprise me. Everything is up in the air.”

Such is the nature of things in uncertain times.

Tuesday brought another action to attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 — the ACC canceled all spring competitions and practices.

Wake Forest’s football team got in five of its allotted 15 spring practices before going on spring break last week — an aspect that at least made some logistical parts of this easier to handle.

“Rather than having all of our players get back together and potentially pass along what somebody might have picked up on spring break, we just had our players go home,” Clawson said. “Right now all of our players except one (are) home, and the last one will be home on Thursday.”

At some point, those players will return to Wake Forest’s campus. But it doesn’t appear to be anytime soon, as the university starts online classes next week and “it is unknown … when classes will return to an in-person format,” according to the school’s website.

“You feel almost foolish talking about sports with all the other things going on in our country and people,” Clawson said. “But obviously sports is a big part of the fabric of our country and it feels a little bit like 9/11 when that occurred.

“And it’s really challenging to figure out what’s next because every time there’s an answer, there’s five more questions.”

Clawson was coaching at Fordham, which is in The Bronx, N.Y., in 2001.

In relation to the chain reaction of cancellations and postponements that have occurred in the last week, he connected 9/11 and the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Once an organization or a school said, ‘We’re not doing this,’ then it almost became irresponsible for other people to do it,” Clawson said. “I just think that was the domino effect of it went from conference tournaments to the NCAA tournaments to spring competition.”

Wake Forest’s pro day is something that remains in the postponed category, and Clawson said if there’s a time that’s “safe and appropriate” before the NFL Draft, scheduled for April 23-25, then Wake Forest will hold the event.

For current Deacons and the coaching staff, the questions shift toward what to do until things return to some semblance of normal.

Players have been equipped with two versions of home workouts: one to be done if a gym remains open and one for home.

“I’m at home, we’ve all got our laptops and we all have our films, and we have all the film downloaded on our laptops, so we’re able to watch film on upcoming opponents and recruiting film and do a lot of the things we’d be doing at the office, except we can’t do it collectively,” Clawson said. “It’s completely uncharted and unprecedented and I’ve called other coaches to ask them how they’re handling it, and I think we’re all kind of doing the same things.”

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