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Bevo’s Daily Roundup: COVID-19 pandemic forces closure of first college football program due to financial impact

Plus: An update on 2020 QB Ja’Quinden Jackson’s knee rehab

Twitter.com/FloridaTechFB

The first college football program casualty due to the novel coronavirus pandemic is here.

Saturday Down South reports that Florida Tech has opted to pull the plug on its football program due to “unprecedented economic uncertainty.” “As I have continued to share with you, these are difficult times for our university,” Florida Tech president Dwayne McCay said a statement. “Indeed, all of higher education is struggling to deal with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the uncertainty that accompanies a global disruption to daily life. Some universities will no doubt close. Florida Tech, however, has plans to persevere.”

He added, “... COVID-19 makes these moves prudent, but no less painful. We must do what is necessary to preserve resources critical to our educational mission and ensure our ability to successfully serve students when face-to-face instruction resumes this fall. I appreciate each of you, and I am humbled by your hard work and sacrifice.”

Florida Tech, a member of the Gulf South Conference, launched its college football program in 2011. Since then, the Panthers have compiled a 44-35 record overall, with its major highlight culminating in a win in the 2013 ECAC Futures Bowl game, SDS reports.

WHAT THE WISE MEN ARE SAYING ABOUT THE LONGHORNS

Austin American-Statesman: The Dotted Line: Will Texas’ 10th commitment arrive on Friday?

Austin American-Statesman: The Dotted Line: With Zach Evans finally signed, a closer look at the top prospect to sign with each Big 12 squad in 2020

Dallas Morning News: 5 breakout candidates for Texas next season, including a trio of wide receivers

247Sports: Texas Morning Brew: Ossai sees ‘destruction,’ Acho and more

247Sports: Mike at Night: Scattershooting Texas recruiting stories

USA Today: 2020 class atop national rankings in blue chip talent

USA Today: One question for every Big 12 team going into the 2020 season

ICYMI IN BURNT ORANGE NATION

The Longhorn Republic tries to be optimistic about football in the fall

Texas announces the additions of WR Tarik Black and CB Jahdae Barron

WHAT WE’RE READING

SBNation: What if Urban Meyer never took his foot off the gas in the 2017 B1G title game?

SBNation: What if Magic Johnson had actually tried to force the Lakers to trade him to the Knicks?

The Ringer: Actually, Michael Jordon’s .202 batting average is more impressive than it seems

The Ringer: The Bundesliga’s delicate balancing act

ESPN: Inside an ugly financial battle to save the 2020 MLB season

NEWS ACROSS THE LONGHORN REPUBLIC AND COLLEGE SPORTS

  • Texas signee Bijan Robinson, the nation’s top running back in the 2020 class, says he wants “to make the College Football Playoff” as a true freshman this season, according to Sports Illustrated. From SI: “When asked about his biggest goal for the upcoming season, Robinson set a high standard for his Freshman campaign, stating that he wants ‘to make the College Football Playoff.’ With yet another elite UT recruiting class, rated eighth overall by 247Sports, this goal might just become reality for Robinson and Co. heading into the 2020 season.”
  • 2020 Texas quarterback signee Ja’Quinden Jackson’s rehab from an ACL injury is going well.
  • Texas head coach Tom Herman is stoked to land cornerback Jahdae Barron. “In addition to Jahdae being a very productive player in high school, he’s really competitive, plays extremely hard and is just a great fit for what we’re looking for in our program,” Herman told 247Sports earlier this week. “We’re so excited that he’s a Longhorn.” Us, too, for that matter.
  • ESPN released its FPI rankings for 2020. Per ESPN, they’re a “measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.” Texas is ranked No. 11 with a 9.5-3.1 record. From ESPN: “Can Texas win the Big 12 this fall? ESPN’s FPI is projecting at least two losses coming at LSU and to Oklahoma with another potentially happening at Oklahoma State. Following a full coaching staff makeover, this is make or break time for Tom Herman, who enters his fourth season knowing all eyes will be glued to Austin to see if the Longhorns are Big 12 title material and then some. Chris Ash inherits a defense that largely underachieved last season for various reasons and will continue the development of Joseph Ossai and Caden Sterns, two leaders on that side. The most important player for Texas is quarterback Sam Ehlinger. This team’s championship hopes ride on his shoulders. If he can stay healthy, new OC Mike Yurcich believes the sky is the limit for this offense.”