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Buffs football parents, players impressed with CU’s handling of unique situation

Spring football postponed until at least March 29

New Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell impressed parents and players with the way he has handled the coronavirus situation.
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
New Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell impressed parents and players with the way he has handled the coronavirus situation.

Karl Dorrell hasn’t been on the job long, but Colorado’s new head football coach has already impressed some of his players and their parents with his handling of a unique situation.

World-wide concerns about the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has created one of the most unusual situations in recent history, and particularly in the sports world.

Sports around the country at all levels have been shut down for the time being, with citizens being urged to practice social distancing and avoid congregating in large groups.

At CU and around the Pac-12 Conference, that has led to the cancellation of all spring sports, as well as the postseason play for men’s and women’s basketball, skiing and indoor track and field.

The Buffs’ football team, meanwhile, is putting spring practices on hold. CU was supposed to begin spring football on Monday, but will now hold off until after March 29 – if the Buffs practice at all this spring.

Dorrell, introduced as head coach less than three weeks ago – on Feb. 24 – had been in scramble mode to build a staff and prepare for Monday’s scheduled start of spring workouts.

He put that on hold Friday and sent a letter to players and parents to update them on the situation, which includes CU letting players and their families use their discretion in going home to be with loved ones at this time rather than staying on campus.

Dorrell also told them that the lines of communication with him and CU’s trainers will be open at all times, gave them information on what to do if they feel sick, and informed them that all student-athlete support services would be available for those who remain on campus this next week.

“This is the first time in three years a parent has gotten an email like this,” one player’s father told BuffZone.

In the letter, Dorrell addressed the players specifically and told them this is a test for “great communication and responsibility” during a time of crisis and urged them all to rise to the challenge.

One player’s mother told BuffZone that Dorrell’s letter “gave me goosebumps!”

“The connection he seems to have already with the players (is impressive),” she said. “He seems to have an interest in developing the players into men. Dorrell seems more developmental in his approach.”

As the situation unfolded this week, players – along with everyone else – dealt with uncertainty about what would happen with practices and workouts, and others were nervous about being on campus.

Several players told Buffzone they were hoping to get a chance to go home and be with loved ones and then felt relieved when CU told players they were free to do so. While several players are staying on campus this week, several are taking the opportunity to go home, according to sources.

In general, parents and players who communicated with BuffZone have been pleased with how Dorrell and athletic director Rick George have kept the student-athletes informed and safe throughout the process.

“I feel like they handled the situation pretty well,” one player told BuffZone on Saturday. “They were transparent with the team about what was going on and what to expect in the few days we were handling his situation.”