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CU Buffs postpone spring football practices

Karl Dorrell’s first spring as head coach put on hold until after March 29

Colorado''s Maurice Bell, middle, runs after a catch during the 2019 spring game. The start of CU's spring football practice could be delayed.
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Colorado”s Maurice Bell, middle, runs after a catch during the 2019 spring game. The start of CU’s spring football practice could be delayed.

The Colorado football team’s first spring under head coach Karl Dorrell has been postponed.

CU had been scheduled to conduct the first of its 15 spring practices on Monday, but sports information director David Plati said on Friday, “We do not know if or when we will begin spring football practice.”

Along with many of the nation’s sports entities, CU announced Thursday that it will not participate in any competition for the foreseeable future because of concerns about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

In football, CU was scheduled to practice three times next week and then take time off for spring break from March 21-29. Now, the earliest they could begin spring practices would be after spring break. A source told BuffZone that a team meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. on March 29 and that CU is planning a “deep cleaning” of athletic facilities during spring break.

“There remains many moving parts to all aspects around this and the situation remains fluid and ever-evolving,” Plati said.

Buffzone has learned that athletic director Rick George informed the student-athletes on Friday that they can use their discretion to return home and continue with remote studies.

This week, several players told BuffZone they would prefer to go home if they could. One player said, “Almost everyone is going home and have already booked flights.”

According to Plati, academic, food and other support services for student-athletes will remain in operation for players who chose to stay on campus.

CU is one of only three Pac-12 schools that have yet to start spring football, along with Washington and Washington State, which both were not scheduled to start until late March or early April.

The eight teams that have started spring football have announced postponements of future practices.

Southern California held its first practice Tuesday, but has suspended practices for now. On Thursday, Arizona and Stanford both announced they were suspending spring practices.

Arizona State, which has had seven practices and is currently on spring break, will delay further practices for at least two weeks; California has suspended all spring football through at least March 30; and UCLA has canceled spring practices until at least March 31.

On Friday, Oregon and Oregon State both placed a moratorium on all team activities through March 29, while Utah announced that all practices and team activities would be suspended indefinitely.

As of Friday afternoon, the Pac-12 had left decisions on practices up to each school, but around the country, the conferences have stepped in.

On Friday, the ACC, Big Ten and SEC all suspended athletic-related activities, including practices. The Big Ten suspended all organized team activities until April 6, while the SEC has suspended activities through at least April 15.

The MAC has also issues a conference-wide suspension of games and practices through at least April 3.