Dooley: Nothing wrong with waiting to make difficult decision

Pat Dooley
Gator Sports

Everybody ready to go again?

Certainly, this is not over even after one of the most monumental days in the history of college football, or at least what's left of college football.

We have a long way to go with no real timetable when it comes to whether or not we will see games in 2020. 

It's almost at the point where I DON'T want the SEC to release any dates for a schedule because we are all suffering the aftershocks of the Big Ten canceling its season six days after it released its schedule.

The Big Ten and its Robin (the Pac-12) canceled their seasons Tuesday and tried to keep their players from transferring by promising the maybe/possibly/pretend season in the spring. The best players in those two conferences who are juniors and seniors will be signing with agents faster than the Beatles signed with Brian Epstein. 

We have seen the last of Justin Fields and we hardly knew him.

Of course, the Big 12 gave college football fans hope by not canceling its season and instead waiting — like the SEC and ACC — for the simple reason that there is nothing wrong with waiting to make this difficult decision.

And that's what I want to make sure people understand.

Those of us who were not happy with the Big Ten will come across to many as not caring about the players as much as two leagues who have decided to try to put many of those players through two seasons in one year. 

I am not sure whether there should be any football in 2020. But to deliver the answer on Aug. 11 when you could have waited a month at least seems sanctimonious. 

That's the complaint. Not that it was done, but that it was done now.

The two conferences could have pushed back the start of their seasons (and how irresponsible was it to think the Big Ten could start the first week in September?) all the way to the end of October. Your guys are working out anyway. Your coaches are working. You couldn't wait.

I just don't see why it had to be done now.

And that's what irritates those of us who were upset Tuesday.

We don't want players to have short-term or long-term health issues. We just wanted to make sure that was a problem that couldn't be solved.

The Dooley Downer in me expects that eventually the other three conferences will have to postpone. They might as well cancel because if the fear of players suffering lung or heart damage is the overriding factor now, what makes anyone think that's going to be something that goes away in February.

We are still a country that is too undisciplined to solve the gameplan of living with this pandemic. We are still battling it out at grocery store entrances about masks. Does anyone really think the Christmas season will be a lesson in social distancing?

We're stuck with this evil thing for a long time and nobody knows how long. 

I still would have liked everybody to just wait a little longer. Of course, I also believe in unicorns and Bigfoot and leprechauns and a college football system that is as united as its players.

So will see — in this ever-changing news cycle — what happens next. Ladies and gentlemen, start your laptops. Pretty soon, there may not be any college football left to write about.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at And follow at