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Slate: Major Conferences Contemplate Major Decisions about Fall Sports

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Also, trailblazing basketball and track star Gene Wilson passes away at 89.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 West Virginia at Kansas State
The kids may not be hanging on the gate at Bill Snyder Family Stadium this Fall. But in the Spring, maybe?
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Previously

BracketCat’s optimistic countdown to the date of the first scheduled football game continued with a look at No. 26, redshirt sophomore wide receiver Elliot Ollenburger and No. 25, redshirt sophomore defensive back Ekow Boye-Doe.

Meanwhile, Drew Schneider presented the big news on the recruiting side, as Coach Klieman and his staff out-dueled ten other Power-5 schools to obtain the commitment of Louisiana safety Matthew Langlois. Langlois was a top priority recruit for the Wildcats, and beating the likes of Mississippi State, West Virginia, Virginia, and Arizona for his services is a major accomplishment.

Basketball

K-State is mourning the passing of Gene Wilson, who became the first Black player to compete in Big 7 basketball in 1950, and after being drafted and serving 13 months in the Korean War, returned to K-State to become one of five athletes to break the color barrier in track and field in 1954. Wilson’s eligibility to compete required the approval of then-University President Milton Eisenhower, who endured intense criticism for the decision but refused to back down. Wilson played for coaches Jack Gardner and Fred “Tex” Winter, winning a Big 7 title and appearing in the NCAA West Regional semifinal game as a senior in 1955-56. Wilson passed away recently in his hometown of Anderson, Indiana, at age 89.

Football

The viability of college football this fall has been at the back of all of our minds for months. Yesterday, the issue moved to the front. Reports emerged that the Big 10 is likely to cancel Fall athletic competitions, but may be waiting for a dance partner (Hello, Pac 12!) before making it official. ESPN provided a conference-by-conference breakdown of football’s Fall status, noting that the Big 12—in keeping with its customary reactionary stance on issues of critical importance—has not made any decisions yet. Conference athletic directors are meeting today.

University administrators across the NCAA are said to be concerned about emerging data concerning potential long-term medical impacts of contracting the virus, including cardiopulmonary, respiratory and neurological effects. Pac-12 medical experts are expected to weigh in today.

K-State athletic director Gene Taylor understands the uneasiness for everyone involved, and he thanked fans for their patience as difficult decisions are contemplated.

Nebraska head coach Scott Frost has suggested that the Cornhuskers may seek alternate opponents if the Big 10 chooses to cancel the season, begging the question whether the league would permit them to blaze their own path. Frost opposes moving the season to the Spring, saying players can’t be expected to play two seasons in a single calendar year. He also suggests doomsday for college athletics as a whole if the NCAA can’t squeeze in a football season, saying: “People need to understand the carnage and aftermath of what college athletics looks like if we don’t play.”

Charity

The Every Day Should Be Saturday crew is soldiering on with its annual Charity Bowl, a competition among the college fanbases to raise funds for New American Pathways, a refugee resettlement organization in Atlanta. Michigan seems to win this every year. We need to step up and end the tyrannical reign of the Wolverines.