State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Penn State Football: Players Allowed to Go Home, Testing Will Continue

by on August 14, 2020 1:20 PM

There's not much to see outside the Lasch Football Building these days aside from construction, with the parking lot being ripped up in order to expand the facility as part of an ongoing renovation project.

While the undertaking was already privately funded, it's hard to ignore than ever expanding opulence of college football just a 15-minute walk from a downtown business district that will continue to be rattled by the absence of football. In truth neither town nor gown will look back on 2020 and likely much of 2021 with any real fondness, and neither will survive without having made difficult choices.

So there are no winners, although Penn State will be still standing when this is all said and done. The same cannot be said for many businesses already clinging to life.

For the first time in a long time there isn't much in the way of football players around the building either. After weeks and months of quarantine, the Big Ten's decision to cancel the fall sports calendar has opened the door to a return home. As a Penn State spokesperson stated, the program is giving players the week off and a chance to return home if they would like.

But soon they will return and, eventually, get back to work.

"We will continue all processes and protocols," the spokesperson said.

That means, according to Big Ten regulations, COVID-19 testing twice a week [a luxury not afforded regular students, nor a service that's price tag has been made public] and yes there will be some form of practice. In spite of the season's cancelation, the Big Ten is currently letting players and coaches hit the field in a limited capacity. So while the prospect of spring football may seem equal parts far away and far-fetched, the Nittany Lions will have something to do. A small silver lining in a world short on them.

Assuming that this semester ends when it is supposed to, and Penn State doesn't once again send its student body packing for virtual learning.

Eventually, tougher choices and decisions will have to be made by the powers that be as to how the Big Ten will approach spring football. Penn State coach James Franklin has yet to speak publicly about what exactly he thinks that might look like. Penn State AD Sandy Barbour has offered no insight into her thoughts either, while university President Eric Barron has yet to speak publicly about his vote for/or against the cancelation of the season.

Barbour is likely to surface in the coming weeks, Franklin and Barron less of a sure thing to speak any time soon.

So in turn everyone is left treading water, uncertain what the next week might hold, uncertain if things will get better in time.

But at this point that's a pretty standard feeling.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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