sunny.png
Sunday September 20th, 2020 9:42AM

Stadiums quiet but college football, shows of unity go on

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

The first big weekend of college football was mostly stripped of the pageantry that is at the heart of the game.

The stands were empty, or attendance was limited, because of a pandemic that has disrupted the season.

That didn't stop shows of support for the fight against racial injustice.

Players for Kansas State and Arkansas State locked arms on the sidelines with their teammates before the game in Manhattan, Kansas. K-State players spoke in a video calling for unity and equality, and there were cheers and applause following a moment of reflection.

A similar scene played out in Morgantown, West Virginia, before West Virginia's game against Eastern Kentucky.

Notre Dame played a video promoting racial equality before its game against Duke in South Bend, Indiana.

Several teams' uniforms called attention to social injustice.

Duke players not only wore the Black Lives Matter logo on the back of their helmets, but the “D” logos on the sides of those helmets, traditionally white, were black. NBC reported the color change was made in support of the BLM movement and that Duke intends to wear that design throughout the season.

Louisville players ran on the field before their game against Western Kentucky carrying American and Black Lives Matter flags, the latter featuring the school’s old English “L” in the middle. The Cardinals’ helmets also featured decals for BLM and DR 2 to honor recruit Dexter Rentz Jr., who was shot and killed by gunfire in Orlando on April 26.

In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, six Syracuse players had “Equality” and one had “Black Lives Matter” displayed on the backs of their jerseys instead of their names for their game against the Tar Heels.

North Carolina wore a patch designed by linebacker Tomon Fox. The patch featured the raised clenched fist of the Black Lives Matter movement encircled by the words “Peace,” “Justice,” “Freedom,” “Equality” and “Say Their Names.”

“We’re more than just athletes,” Fox said. “We’re trying to help out with what’s going on in the real world. There are a lot of things bigger than football right now. We’re using our platform in order to help with those things.”

Iowa State wore patches honoring Jack Trice, the school’s first Black athlete, for their game against Louisiana-Lafayette in Ames, Iowa. Trice died of injuries sustained in a football game in 1923, and the Cyclones' stadium is named in his honor.

Clemson players had decals on their helmets with a choice of four stickers and the Tigers' opponent, Wake Forest, had “Black Lives Matter” on the back of players' helmets.

Texas players wore “We Are One” jersey patches for their game against UTEP in Austin. The school song “The Eyes of Texas” received a warm reception before the game after the school decided to stick with it despite calls to stop playing it due to connections to minstrel shows and actors in blackface decades ago.

Texas also required students to take rapid COVID-19 tests on Friday and 95 of 1,198 tested positive.

COVID-19 continued to be at the fore. Big 12 teams Baylor (vs. Louisiana Tech) and Oklahoma State (vs. Tulsa) had games postponed, as did TCU (vs. SMU) on Friday.

Georgia Southern had 33 players listed as inactive for its game against Campbell. Spokesman Bryan Johnston did not provide the number of players out because of COVID-19. He said there were various reasons for the absences, including injuries, suspensions and coach's discretion in addition to COVID-19.

At Iowa State, crowd noise was piped in and the band and cheerleaders were spread out on the east side of the stadium. Families of players for both teams and immediate family of school officials were on the west side. Spokesman Mike Green said about 1,000 people were in the stadium.

Notre Dame announced its attendance at 10,097, about 12 percent of capacity. Most of the fans were students. Seats were assigned, and mask mandates appeared to be mostly followed. In the second half, a reminder was issued via the “Physical Distance Camera.”

Oklahoma limited capacity to 25% and had a sellout crowd of 22,700, smallest since 1945. The Sooner Schooner made an appearance to add a degree of normalcy, but cardboard cutouts of fans filled in holes in the crowd.

To Syracuse defensive end Kingsley Jonathan, just playing a game — even in a mostly empty stadium with a smattering of cardboard cutouts of fans — brought a sense of normalcy during what has been a difficult summer.

“Everything’s all crazy until I step on the field and then it’s like, it’s just football. That’s all it is,” Jonathan said. “Outside the field, it’s something else, (and) you have to do what you gotta do. But once you’re on the field it’s just football.”

Syracuse coach Dino Babers, like his players, was locked in once kickoff came.

“Next time I looked up into the stands is when it was halftime and I saw those cardboard things in the end zone,” he said.

____

AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard, John Raby, Gary B. Graves, Steve Reed, Jim Vertuno and Cliff Brunt, AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo and AP freelance writers Anthony Anderson and Andrew Logue contributed to this report.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
New Orleans under hurricane watch from Tropical Storm Sally
Tropical Storm Sally has formed off south Florida, becoming the earliest 18th-named tropical storm on record in a busy Atlantic hurricane season
5:20PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Better weather aids battle against deadly Western wildfires
Oregon's state fire marshal has been taken off the job as firefighters are battling deadly blazes in Oregon and California
5:18PM ( 16 minutes ago )
The Latest: Missouri tops 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases
Missouri has topped 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus
5:10PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Yanks beat Orioles 2-1 in 10, widen lead for playoff spot
Luke Voit hit a game-ending sacrifice fly leading off the 10th inning, and the New York Yankees beat Baltimore 2-1 to open a 4 1/2-game lead over the Orioles for the American League’s eighth and final playoff berth
4:39PM ( 54 minutes ago )
The Latest: Osaka hopes to stay perfect in U.S. Open final
Naomi Osaka is trying to keep her perfect record in Grand Slam championship matches intact as she faces Victoria Azarenka in the U.S. Open women’s final
4:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Notre Dame extends coach Brian Kelly's contract through 2024
Notre Dame and coach Brian Kelly have agreed to terms on a contract extension that runs through the 2024 season
4:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Titans top draft pick arrested, charged with drunken driving
Tennessee Titans rookie Isaiah Wilson has been arrested and charged with drunken driving after he was spotted doing “donuts” in an intersection before crashing into a concrete wall
11:24AM ( 6 hours ago )
Chiefs, Texans booed as racial justice stand sparks outrage
The NFL’s new stance encouraging players to take a stand against racial injustice got its first test as some fans of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs booed during a moment of silence to promote the cause, touching off a fresh debate on how players should use their voice
9:35PM ( 19 hours ago )
Sen Jones of Alabama calls rival Tuberville 'Coach Clueless'
Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama has called Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville “Coach Clueless” for the former football coach's recent comments about the coronavirus
8:32PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Week 2 Preview: Trevor Lawrence launches Heisman campaign
This college football season is already so odd that it's unclear whether this is Week 1 or Week 2
5:56AM ( 1 day ago )
Why not us?: Ohio State's Day wants answers from Big Ten
Ohio State coach Ryan Day wants answers from the Big Ten about when the conference's plans to start the football season
5:55PM ( 1 day ago )
Coach Norvell, Florida State set for opener vs Georgia Tech
Coach Mike Norvell is set make his debut with Florida State and James Blackman as the Seminoles returning starting quarterback
2:44PM ( 2 days ago )
College Sports
The Summer of COVD-19 ends with health officials worried
The Lost Summer of 2020 is drawing to a close with many big Labor Day gatherings canceled across the U.S. and health authorities pleading with people to keep their distance from others so as not to cause another surge in coronavirus cases like the one that followed Memorial Day
3:21PM ( 5 days ago )
Forecasting freshman stars particularly tough this season
Figuring out which true freshmen could make an impact is more challenging than usual this year with the coronavirus pandemic having such an impact on the preseason
2:18AM ( 5 days ago )
Texas schools carry apprehension into kickoff amid pandemic
Houston Baptist is playing only three football games this fall after the FCS Southland Conference decided a few weeks ago not to play league games
9:06PM ( 6 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
New Orleans under hurricane watch from Tropical Storm Sally
Tropical Storm Sally has formed off south Florida, becoming the earliest 18th-named tropical storm on record in a busy Atlantic hurricane season
5:20PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Better weather aids battle against deadly Western wildfires
Oregon's state fire marshal has been taken off the job as firefighters are battling deadly blazes in Oregon and California
5:18PM ( 16 minutes ago )
The Latest: Missouri tops 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases
Missouri has topped 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus
5:10PM ( 24 minutes ago )
The Latest: Azarenka easily takes 1st set in U.S. Open final
Victoria Azarenka easily moved within a set of her first U.S. Open women’s singles title, leading Naomi Osaka 6-1
4:48PM ( 45 minutes ago )
Oxford and AstraZeneca resume coronavirus vaccine trial
Oxford University says trials of a coronavirus vaccine that it is developing with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca will resume, days after being paused due to a reported side-effect in a patient in the U_K_ The university said in large trials such as this “it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety.”
4:48PM ( 45 minutes ago )