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Coaches get emotional over football future

Indiana coach Tom Allen watches the second quarter of the team's NCAA college football game against Penn State in State College, Pa., on Nov. 16. The Big Ten and Pac-12 became the first Power Five conferences to cancel their fall football seasons because of concerns about COVID-19. The Big Ten said it hopes to compete in the spring, and the Pac-12 pushed even basketball back to Jan. 1. ÒMy heart breaks for our players. I couldnÕt be prouder of the commitment and focus they have demonstrated from the start of this pandemic," Allen said of the Big Ten's decision Tuesday, Aug. 11. (AP file photo)

Indiana coach Tom Allen was heartbroken. Kansas State’s Chris Klieman doesn’t know if he will be, too, eventually, but said he wants to keep his players on campus.

The looming collapse of the college football season is beginning to hit home for coaches who have scrambled to pull a season together.

The Big Ten and Pac-12 became the first Power Five conferences to cancel their fall football seasons because of concerns about COVID-19. The Big Ten said it hopes to compete in the spring.

“My heart breaks for our players. I couldn’t be prouder of the commitment and focus they have demonstrated from the start of this pandemic,” Allen said of the Big Ten’s decision Tuesday. “Our No. 1 priority always has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of our players. While this is a difficult day, the decision is in the best interest of our players.”

Shelly Meyer, a nurse and wife of retired college coach Urban Meyer, tweeted that with players losing their sport, “please make sure we have outlets/resources to help them cope w this loss. And yes, it IS loss, even if u think it’s ‘just a game.'”

With the Big 12 among Power Five conferences still hanging on, Klieman clung to hope.

“I hope they don’t totally lose a season,” he said of his players. “I hope they get a chance to do things in the spring, and that’s what we all want. What is the plan? What is the plan for each league, whether they play in the fall or play in the spring?”

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