US-NEWS-OREGON-STATE-MOVING-AHEAD-WITH-1-PO.jpg

Oregon State's Trevon Bradford pulls down a catch as the Beavers face the Oregon Ducks in the 123d edition of the Civil War on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene.

About an hour after a revised 2020 Pac-12 football schedule was unveiled, Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes met with Beavers’ coach Jonathan Smith on campus for a brief chat.

“He’s almost giddy,” Barnes said. “Really happy for our student athletes because they finally have some certainty, at least some dates. … all summer they’ve been dealing with uncertainty. Just to be able to take that next step, to get closer, to hopefully and eventually playing, they’re excited.”

But clearly, Barnes’ words were spliced with phrases and sentences of caution. Because Barnes, like the rest of college football, has no idea if the coronavirus will allow college football to hold practices or play games.

• On 20-hour per week workouts beginning Monday: “We’ll go gradually.”

• On starting training camp on Aug. 17 as allowed by the NCAA and Pac-12: “We’ll continue to have a conversation with the local health authorities and feel like we’ll be moving forward there.”

• On whether some OSU players will opt out of playing this season: “I would suggest there will be some.”

• On being the Pac-12’s only team to play all 10 games on Saturdays: “Our fans like that. I’m not suggesting we’re going to have fans, but if we do, it’ll be a blessing.”

Following Friday’s schedule announcement, the Beavers now know there are fewer than 60 days until the 2020 season opener against California on Sept. 28 at Reser Stadium. The revised schedule includes moving the Oregon game to Oct. 17 — the earliest in rivalry history — three of the first four games at home, and finishing the season with back-to-back road contests.

The OSU-Oregon game is traditionally the regular-season finale for both schools. Only nine times since World War II ended have the Beavers and Ducks played their rivalry sometime other than the last game.

Barnes called moving the game a contribution to the “bigger picture … it just fell there. It’s one year. We’re looking at it as how do we just put it all together. You have to sacrifice some things. That traditional rivalry date is something many of us had to sacrifice.”

Barnes didn’t have a hint on the possibility for kickoff times for any games. But if there are no fans or attendance is significantly restricted, there shouldn’t be as much of an uproar for evening games. That might be the only benefit to attendance restrictions, as Barnes said it would create more flexibility for television viewing windows.

But make no mistake: Barnes wants to open the gates for fans at Reser this season, provided it’s safe. The school’s bottom line depends on it. Barnes was unable to be specific as to how much Oregon State stood to lose in revenue if the Beavers’ five home games are without paying customers.

“Large,” Barnes said.

Barnes gave a range in losses of $8.5 million with a modified number of fans at games, to more than $50 million if the games aren’t played. Barnes said tickets and donor revenue from season ticket is “in the $10 million range.”

But before there are the possibility of games, there are workouts and training camp. Most of the Beavers’ football roster has been in Corvallis since June 15 going through voluntary workouts. That changes Monday when the NCAA and Pac-12 allow teams to increase the workload to 20 hours per week. What’s new, in addition to more hours, is the involvement of coaches with walk-through practices. No football gear or contact is allowed.

Barnes said the Beavers will begin the 20-hour workout week Monday, but wouldn’t begin walk-throughs until Wednesday.

Three weeks from Monday is Aug. 17, when Pac-12 teams are allowed to begin training camp. Whether Oregon State is permitted to begin on that date depends on guidance from Benton County health authorities and Gov. Kate Brown’s current mandates.

As of Friday, Barnes said no Oregon State football athlete has asked to opt out of playing this upcoming season.

On a side note but related to OSU football, Barnes said the timeline to remodel the west side of Reser Stadium has not been delayed by the pandemic. The timeline, as set out in a request for proposal document by the university, states that Oregon State would like to begin design development in October, and start construction in Dec. of 2021.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.